Vending machine prototyping

[Vending Mexico] plans to design, build, and sell their of vending machines. You’ve got to start somewhere so they’ve built this prototype. It offers a range of vending features but was built with parts we’re used to seeing in hobby projects.

The one challenge they didn’t take on is the ability to identify coins and make change. You can see they’ve chosen to use a Coinco Guardian 6000 changer. But the custom circuit taps into the device, identifying how much money has been dropped in the slot, and controlling the coin dispenser to make change. Right now there is only one item to choose from; some packs of gum  stored in a cardboard partition with the typical metal corkscrew — driven by a servo motor — to dispense the product. Just below that partition there is a row of IR LEDs which have a complimentary set of IR phototransistors. The machine uses these to detect when product has dropped through. This way if your candy gets stuck you get your money back.

The user interface is shown off in the video after the break. It uses a set of seven segment displays for feedback. An arcade button is used to select the desired product. The video dialog is in Spanish but we had no trouble telling what is being shown off even though we don’t speak the language.

We can’t remember seeing other scratch built vending machine. It seems all of them have been hacks on older commercial vending hardware.

[Thanks Nancy]

Comments

  1. Jmicz says:

    So what is I shine a IR flashlight at it to trick it into giving me my money back, just something to think about.

  2. Tony says:

    Well get ready, because just yesterday I started work on a project to build one from scratch myself! :)

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:30571

  3. GTech says:
  4. justice099 says:

    I built one for my Control Systems class in college. No build log, though.

  5. Pete says:

    I like vending machines.

    A long, long time ago I helped out on making a coke machine that dispensed beverages based on what you texted to an SMS short code. The charge was added to your cell phone bill.

    http://theponderingprimate.blogspot.com/2006/04/qpass-and-simplewire-text-message.html

  6. Hackerspacer says:

    and sell their of vending machines.

  7. hellst0rm says:

    Shine a bright ir led at the ir detectors and get free product!

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