Bilbio-mat is an awesome yet simple used book vending machine

You’ll find this used book vending machine at The Monkey’s Paw in Toronto, Canada. For two Loonies you can buy a random book from the machine’s hopper. Silly? Absolutely. But as you can see from the video after the break, the act of buying a book this way is a lot of fun, and we always like to see the insides of a machine like this.

[Craig Small's] creation looks vintage, and the chugga-chugga and mechanical bell that accompany each sale go along well with that appearance. Of course the machine is new. A trio of hoppers behind the façade hold stacks of books at a forty-five degree angle. Each stack is raised one at a time by a winch and pulley. Once the top book on the stack is high enough to slide into the dispenser chute the winch stops and the bell rings. A simple solution to dispensing something that is not a standard size.

Because the Biblio-Mat is meant to clear out the discount books, slight damage caused by falling down the chute won’t even be noticed. And if you end up really loving the book you can digitize it by running it through one of these.

[Thanks Petri]

Comments

  1. JimBob says:

    I think you meant “Biblio”, not “Bilbio” in the title. You must be dylsexic. ;)

  2. ACanadian says:

    Just have to say as a canadian, it isn’t two loonies ($1 coin), it’s a toonie ($2 coin) that the machine accepts.

  3. James says:

    It should be able to accept payment in coins, or books.

    That is, insert one book, get one book.

    • Chris says:

      I get the impression that its more of a thing for cleaning out old stock. Putting books back in would be sort of defeating the point.

      That said one of these capable of trading a book for a book would be a fantastic thing. I want one in the lovely little cafe in town that only serves crepes and has a rack of the owners faviroute books for purchase.

  4. henry says:

    I actually think the design of the machine is rather clever. It also wouldn’t be hard to have a small airbag or slide at the bottom the cushion the fall.

  5. BetaLyte says:

    I don’t really get how they ensure that only one books fall out at a time.
    It looks like the raise the “book shelf” a fixed distance at a time, but book have all kinds of thickness.
    So the distance must the big enough for the thickest book to fall down, but prevent 3-4-5 thin books from falling simultaneously.

    • Alexander Mahr says:

      I think they use an optical limit switch when the book starts to slide down the shaft.

    • Kevin says:

      There could be a sensor of some kind right at the top of the shute that detect when a book has left the stack. It seems to me there’s is a slight difference in length of the whinch sound so I wouldn’t say it’s a fixed distance, some books have a very short winch sound before the bell rings.

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