Vending Machines are there since very long time, and they have changed much with the time. Vending Machine is very cool and useful product to dispense various items like foods, chocolates, prizes etc., just by inserting a coin in it. Ryan Bates has built a much cheaper DIY Vending Machine using Arduino, and he named it ‘Venduino’. The machine is pretty cool, you just need to insert a Coin and press a button of your choice and the Venduino will dispense the corresponding item for you.
This Venduino Arduino Vending Machine is majorly using four hardware which are: Arduino Uno, four continuous rotation servo motors, Nokia 5110 LCD and 12v power supply. Optionally 12v LED strips have been used to illuminate the Vending Machine with LED for indication. Four buttons are there for selecting the items which are there in four chambers. LCD displays the messages and instructions to operate the Machine.
The major work, in creating this Vending Machine, is building the whole plywood structure and properly assemble the components in it. Ryan used the laser-cut plywood pieces to build the whole frame and dividers. Plywood has been cut very intelligently so that various pieces can be interlocked in each other, making different sections of vending machine and spaces & cut outs for components & wires. All the pieces and components have been fixed using screws and nuts. The whole process of making the Vending Machine has been nicely explained by Ryan in the Video (check below).
‘Venduino’ has four chambers for dispensing the items. Each chamber has one Continuous Rotation Servo Motor attached behind it, when someone inserts a coin in Venduino and presses the button, then corresponding Servo rotates and dispense one item. Dispensaries coil has been attached to servo to dispense the Item on rotation of servo, these coils are made by cloth hanger wires. Also for coin detector, two open wires are glued at some distance, near the coin insertion hole, so that whenever someone inserts the coin they get shorted and activates the machine, see the image below:
Further a Power regulator is used to regulate the power from 12v to 5v, as Arduino and Servos work on 5v and they are also powered by the same 12v source. Arduino Code for this Vending Machine is provided by Ryan in his Article.
So build your own Vending Machine and use it either to dispense some useful items or make some fun with kids by putting some chocolates or snacks in it.