This tutorial explains how to build and program an online operated rotary dispensing machine that could be used in a variety of applications including vending products. This is the next step of development towards an open source vending machine since our last instrucatable located here. You may notice this model does not shoot product out at you but more elegantly rotates it to you... then shoots it out at you. The idea is to have 8 different products that stack on top of each other in groups of four or five. If a person selects say "product 5" the main deck rotates to bring that product in front of the servo arm which swings out pushing the bottommost product out an inch. From this point a wheel mechanism will pull the product the rest of the way out and cause it to fall into the hands of the eager customer. As of yet the final Dispensing of the product hasn't been realized, but fear not we will continue to work on it.
The potential of an open source vending machine is built around the idea that people who create product--designers, jewelers, bakers, makers, etc.--should focus on what they are best at. This means their energies should be directed towards perfecting their craft. With physical shop space requiring a high overhead in some areas the option of vending product could be a more cost effective approach to bringing product to a consumer. Further, if the vending machine is 'smart' enough to handle all of the payment processing and keep track of its own inventory, then the designer is granted a freedom from the business side of their craft.
The realization of this prototype is thanks to funding from Sparkfun Electronics and the support of White Mountain Science Inc. All designs and programming were done by Ethan Peters and Nicholas Sullo.