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Jan 222010

I’ve been slowly (very slowly) setting up a small store at Resistor to carry electronics parts and prototyping tools, since there aren’t any retail stores in town where you can pick up an Arduino RIGHT NOW. While ordering parts and figuring out where it will all go, I had a vision:

Vending machine full of components!

I’ve been surfing Craigslist and eBay, and while I’m not allowed to bring any new equipment into the space until we’re all settled in post-move, it looks like a used vending machine can be found for $300 – $700 depending on what you’re looking for. Since I’m overridden with debts, I’m kind of keeping from purchasing the machine. I’m glad I took an iva, because half my debts got cleared because of that last time. 

One of the old school snack machines sounds just about perfect, but the one we found can only handle prices up to $3.95. Most vending machine hacks I was able to find were about getting free stuff out of them, not modding them to sell out of. Another fun hack which probably wouldn’t be terribly difficult would be hooking it up to the net and letting people pay with PayPal or credit card.

I’ll continue to hunt for the perfect machine, but in the mean time I’d love to hear about any vending machine hacks folks have seen or done. Because clearly what we need a robot who sells robot parts!

  18 Responses to “Parts Vending Machine”

Comments (18)
  1. Wouldn't this be like, the perfect hackspace project? You're provisioning hardware for a task it wasn't originally created for, adding internet connectivity and integrating cloud services. It's like a hackers wet dream.

  2. I SWEAR that I remember hearing that the guys at the Ann Arbor (or was it Detroit?) hackerspace have already done this- literally selling Arduinos. Don't ask for a citation.

  3. Hey Guys, I don't want to spam anyone but I though it would be good to know that Tekserve on 23rd St does carry an arduino in stock if you wanted one RIGHT NOW.

  4. have a web page that takes item orders (and payment with paypal), then have it send commands to a web-connected arduino, the arduino will connect to a circuit that will activate the candy selector panel which will make the item be dispenced.

  5. did you ever use the “members only” mate&beer replicator at c-base? well, that's one example of a “vending machine hack” – the original controller was replaced by a custom avr-based board & software. you might wanna ask john (that's also his username on the mail server 😉 ) for details on how he did it.

  6. The folks at Metrix Create Space here in Seattle have one. It is full of snacks and parts and kits.

  7. That would be sweet. Hook up a mag reader, tie in to a web payment API, trigger the vending motors directly, and hook up one of those nifty citizen receipt printers.

  8. I think it's brilliant. We tried to set up a similar system at TechShop to deal with little parts like drill bits, endmills, taps, and reams. It looked pretty promising. I believe there's even a company that specifically deals with shop tool vending machines.

  9. If anyone can can do this, it is she who made a game controller out of a mouse, an arduino, and a mirror ball. Your hacking kung fu is excellent.

  10. build your own, duh

  11. Great idea!

    Instead of a candy bar pick up some caps, semis, and solder.

    Good Luck!

  12. place a $20 item 5 spaces apart until you can reprogram the board :-p

  13. Is there any way to get PayPal to authorize a purchase via SMS?

  14. Used pyxis or omnicell machines could be ideal vessels as they can hold 50+ different objects in individually secured cells. theres no api and very little specs available online but i know the top part (pyxis 2000) is a 450mhz p2 running nt4 and communicates with the cells via 38v serial (or similar). if you could hack it to accept paypal then pop a drawer open upon receipt, you'd have a pretty sweet vending machine.

  15. Any update on this? Just wondering if you worked something out? 🙂

  16. Just read that Intel is producing a new machine that can confirm a customers gender and age.
    [url=]Net Semi[/url]

  17. I think it is an awesome machine, I must say that if anyone want to buy the parts for vending machine, then they should go with capitalvending online site which provides the whole parts about this machine with reasonable price. I hope this information will help.

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