Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Satiated Vending Machines

It won't eat your money. If it tries, make it puke the cash back up!
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Name changed (of the idea) to protect the innocent.

Ever had a vending machine eat your money and then be unable to get it back, all because the stupid candy bar didn't fall down into the grab rack? You've tried shaking, and nothing has come out. Or it just ate your money and nothing happened? I propose a vending machine that measures the change in weight on the racks where the foods are, so that money can only be accepted if there is a measured reduction in weight and the food item has dropped into the bottom of the vending machine. If nothing happens, you press a button and get your money back. Of course, to make up for this technology, the prices would be slightly higher...

You could also ease the stuff selection process by providing a set of thick, long gloves that a person can reach through, similar to the ones used in clean room laboratory machinery, and thus reach into the machine and grab items without having access to the inside of the machine. The gloves are covered by a door until money is inserted into the machine. If the gloves are cut, an alarm sounds. The item(s) is dropped, measured and weighed, and charged to you as needed, but you can't claim the item until you have provided enough money to pay for the items. This wouldn't work for every type of vending machine, but might help.

This could also be used for electronic bulk vending machines- enter the number of pounds you want into the keypad and pay accordingly. For all of these methods, you can only be charged for a measured reduction in weight on the racks.

polartomato, Aug 25 2002

Vending Machine Gag Reflex http://www.halfbake...hine_20Gag_20Reflex
A way to reduce stuck coins... related. [polartomato, Aug 25 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       You mean you don't carry a sledgehammer, diamond cutting tools, suction cups, goggles and nickels on your person at all times? Saaaaaayyy...
thumbwax, Aug 25 2002
  

       Or, of course, you could just call the 1-800 number on the machine and get your money back.
DrCurry, Aug 25 2002
  

       Just tip the f***er over and cut your losses... try not to tip it on yourself.
Mr Burns, Aug 29 2002
  

       Wax: I'd never make it past the security station at work.   

       Curry: We're talking about 50 cents here. And what about machines that say that you have to pay/play at your own risk?   

       thc: Duh. Dangerous. How about an improvement so you don't have to kill yourself over 50 cents? btw there is a sizable population who die this way every year.   

       I don't think that any of these comments justify the two fishbones that this idea has gotten. Oh well.
polartomato, Aug 30 2002
  

       Given that half the profit in vending machines comes from taking the money but not coughing up the goods, I don't see that happening any time soon.
angel, Aug 30 2002
  

       Shaped charges. Work like a dream. Make sure you pick all the fragmets out of the chocolate before you eat it.
8th of 7, Aug 30 2002
  
      
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