Final Project - Countertop Vending Machine

Preliminary brainstorming

Like this, but with arduinos. and caffeine. and breadboards. and 1/64'' drill bits. and nyancat-etched poptarts. Oh, and open source. And constructable for less than $600.

That's right. Make a "open-source hardware" vending machine.

Inspired by Metrix

and NYC Resistor

and other creative spaces (botcave)


Coils: off of ebay:

or DIY version:

(coil thin stock with a drill and gloves around an “auger”, aka a rod of desired diameter) not really suitable for mass production? Find some way to make it using lasercutter or other rapid-prototyping tool

Motors: reduce the number as much as possible. Compensate with complexity in gears (reliability?)


$30 RFID reader

Dollar eaters

To look into:

Also, I recall a project at the MIT Media Lab to vend charged AA NiMH batteries (and take back the spent ones for recharging).  It used a modified snack vending machine, which sat outside the Center for Bits and Atoms for a long time.  You might want to look into their report on what worked and what didn't, and why.”

To look into:

Getting a usable carcass from some outfit in boston.

Reading MIT IDs?

As for the RFID, we just ended up buying a Mifare card reader because the charlie card inside of newer ID's is much more easily read than the MIT Flat-Flex card. Charlie cards are smart cards, so when you read them without giving them the proper prompt, they just spit out the serial number of the card, which works really well for IDing people. If you want to use the actual MIT RFID, it will be much harder. Off the shelf readers won't work because our cards us Indala's proprietary format, so they won't be recognized. If you buy an Indala reader it has to be programmed to recognize the prefix from our IDs, or it will read the card and throw out the data before it gets to the controller. You could make your own, that would be pretty fun.

MIT ID Fun Facts:

-125 KHz

-proximity card

-Indala Flexiso

MDB Links

RFID Links

(my email post: