Red Bull Dispenser Includes Smokey Presentation And Rejects Inferior Drinks

The Eugene Maker Space’s entry in the Red Bull Creation contest dispenses cans in a mysterious fog through an iris opening. But it’s also capable of disposing of the Red Bull cans… and only those cans. If you try to put a different soda in it will violently reject it!

First off we must applaud the Eugene Makers for their prolific documentation of the project. There’s a day or two worth of fun reading/watching on that page so make sure you save the bookmark (and learn from their example!). Inside the mysterious waist-high enclosure there’s a hopper to store the energy-drink reservoir. As a can is dispensed its barcode is scanned to ensure this is an approved beverage. At this point the can is elevated through an iris in the case of the enclosure, al0ng with a theatrically timed puff of fog. The parts of the iris were printed on paper and used to cut out wooden pieces using a scroll saw. The fog blast is from an inverted duster can with a 3d printed nozzle that helps make it Bullduino controlled.

When done with your beverage the can can be placed back in the opening, where it is again scanned before going into the recycling bin. But as you can see in the clip after the break, trying to sneak a soda can into the machine will launch the empty right back at you!

21 thoughts on “Red Bull Dispenser Includes Smokey Presentation And Rejects Inferior Drinks

  1. It seems like it would make sense to have the ‘return to sender’ hole be just the right size for a RB can, since they’re a weird size compared to the vast majority of soda cans.

    Then again their way is funnier.

    1. They would definitely eliminate the bigger cans to be inserted.

      However I wonder how easy they can modify it to also accept all the other red bull products.

      I think we have at least 10 different drink sizes.

      some are
      25cl can
      33cl can
      50cl can

      33cl bottle
      50cl bottle

      mini redbull
      redbull cola

      1. It would be straight forward to recognize all products by a manufacture. A company typically registers a block of bar-code numbers. Take a look at the various cans. You will find they have the same first 5 digits.

      2. The automated recycling-and-deposit-acceptors in Boston have barcode scanners on them and will only accept products the store hosting the machine actually sells. Shouldn’t be hard to do something like that, although maybe not as cheap as desired.

  2. This is awesome. My only suggested alteration would be to use something other than the duster air. The bitterant they put in these to prevent misuse can easily transfer to your hands, clothes, and in this case, the cans and leave a bitter taste in your mouth for hours. For example, if you’ve ever played with these and tried to quickly chill a soda… you’d know what I’m talking about. Although it certainly worked well in this case with the limited amount of time they had… Looks awesome and my compliments!

  3. Is anyone else getting very tied of relentless RB product placement?
    I love Hackaday, but hate RB. it feels like this great site is being hijacked via the back door into becoming RB’s media whore. I know it’s all about the free tech, but hay why not stick with an Arduino and a good concept and forget about the disgusting “energy drink”. Are we all that easily led and distracted by free ( not really free, you pay with your soul) stuff.
    Just a thought.

    1. No it’s not about the free tech, at least not for me. Nor about Red Bull either, I’ve never tried it and am not about to do so, I just don’t care.

      What makes this newsworthy is the mere fact that there’s a non-speciality, or mainstream if you will, company out there paying attention to us. Yes, as simple as that.

      Just think.. How many companies from whom you’d expect better just act like we didn’t exist?

      But heck, scrap that.. How many, even against their own good, hold us in open contempt?

      Maybe it’s sad that it had to be a “disgusting energy drink” manufacturer that brought us our own spotlight, but it is what it is, and yes, they do get my attention for it.

  4. Doesn’t Hackaday provide a most excellent platform or spotlight for pure tech geekery in all it’s forms, with minimal advertising intrusion. Sharing information without the endless repetition of product names etc etc.
    I don’t think “big company Involvement” in diy culture is needed or healthy.. Most tech companies do provide a lot of info on there devices and if they don’t then it’s all part of the fun to out yourself. No?

  5. I do like you attitude to knowing about RB but still not drinking it or even trying it once. Just not caring about is the most healthy way to deal with all advertising.

  6. Never tried Red Bull, and it probably won’t make it on my bucket list if I ever bothered making such a list. Red Bull created a challenge/contest with hackers in mind, and groups of hackers, not sure why hackaday would consider not featuring entries. Not like craftsman tools et. al. are recognizing the hacker subset of the DIY community AFAIK.

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