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Progress On Multiple Fronts

A project log for Vendotron

A vending machine that allows purchases of items via mobile phone or bitcoin

Mike MachadoMike Machado 08/21/2016 at 15:470 Comments

Vendotron had a good week! The homing system was installed, the front acrylic panel was received from Pololu laser cutting service, and the backend interface has made a ton of progress.

Homing System

As mentioned in the previous log, Vendotron uses a hall effect sensor with a magnet installed on the carousel to perform a touchless homing operation. The sensor was installed and tested:

The final code will do a double homing in order to get the best accuracy - the first homing is to detect the magnet, then it will backoff the carousel and then very slowly home again.

Front Panel

The front panel from Pololu Laser Cutting Service looks fantastic! Next step is to mount it to the frame and install all the hardware (deadbolts, servos, hinges, etc).

Backend Web App

The web application is a ruby-on-rails application that serves up a picker for the column/row, shows a description of the product, and then lets you make a purchase via stripe with a credit card or bitcoin.


The admin interface to view purchases, see which slots are empty, restock slots, etc, uses Active Admin, a really nice UI to handle the basic interaction of creating, updating and deleting (known as CRUD in the web app world) things via common input forms. The result is a very nice UI for managing vendotron without having to write much code!

For example:


Well, that's all for this week! =)

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