Introduction: Hair-Tie Dispenser

The Problem

It is regular having to witness a person with long hair asking for a hair tie; as much as it is no one having one to offer. The solution that we've came up with for this particular problem is a hair tie dispenser or hair tie vending machine, built to serve the basic need of allowing an individual with long hair the option of putting their hair up.

For this project we were asked to find a problem we were both passionate enough to research and build a solution to that includes the act of dispensing a product. Since this is a problem both of us have had to face many times, we decided that this is the correct path to proceed throughout our project.


For the brainstorming process we were given a few forms that helped guide us into the problem we chose to investigate. It was very difficult trying to find the problem we wanted to resolve, since there were so many yet not one had caught our attention. We were mainly just naming products we could dispense and then investigating the problem behind that product.

The first idea we were steering towards was the dispensing of feminine hygiene products. Then we later discovered it was a common idea that many of our classmates shared and wished to proceed. Although this may have seemed like a loss, we quickly realized that this idea helped guide us into the overall problem we wanted to act on, which is the dispensing of feminine products.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Coding Supplies

1.A Laptop/Computer

Used to create the code for the vending machine

2.Arduino 4x4 Keypad

The keypad programmed to choose the hair tie of your choise.


Connects from the computer to the Arduinoboard.


5.LED lights (optional)

To indicate you have chosen a product.

6.Arduino Program

Program used to make the codes.


Construction Supplies



3.Coin Detector


Step 2: Coding

To begin, you must start with getting your coding in place. You will be creating this code in the Arduino coding app/program. This project will only require two codes; the keypad code and the LCD code. The keypad code will be used to indicate which product you are choosing; Arduino will detect which button is being pressed by detecting the column and row that will be connected to the buttons. The LCD code indicates which product you chose by digitally showing you.

Step 3: Construction

To build the vending machine follow the instructions given in this link. If instructions are followed correctly you're vending machine will look like the image above.

After completing building the vending machine combine the code and the construction parts together to finish/complete the final product.

Step 4: Conclusion


The major struggle we've had throughout this project was the lack of resources given and having to do it at home. Although doing it at home gave us the option to improve our time management skills.