UP takes vending up another level!

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Smart vending that incorporates the UP board

The UP board is capable of being integrated into many applications that enables them to become intelligent and allows for them to be connected to the IoT framework. This adds an immense amount of efficiency to the way current applications work. We have proven this in the field of smart vending.

The UP board together with Emutex ubiworx IoT software bring intelligence and connectivity through retrofitting Legacy vending machines. This is a perfect fit for many of the goals of IoT in general. Smart vending brings new ways to add efficiency to existing operations through data acquisition and analysis to better manage stock levels, route planning, scheduling and maintenance visits.

The ultimate goal of this solution is to create a vending kit that can be sold and fitted within Legacy vending machines to bring them into the 21st century in a cost effective way. New technology will be introduced into a Legacy snack machine while maintaining its existing functionality. The aim is to add cloud connectivity with modern interfaces such as NFC cashless payments and touch LCD panels. Last but certainly not least, a look into introducing cutting edge image recognition and other features.

Using a device as capable as the UP board to do the local control allows for the addition of a multimedia experience. Video and audio can enhance the user experience. When choosing a product from a colour touch screen display, users can query details about their product such as calorie counts or fat and sugar content.

Another possible future enhancement is the connection of a HD camera to the UP board for image recognition. Machine vendors could use product recognition to ensure operators only stock approved products and that product prices are sold in the correct RRP range. Motion sensing and depth perception can be used to guess the gender of the client or how much time is spent choosing a product before a selection is made. These new data points can be acquired and brought to the cloud to allow big data analysis of customer demographics. This will improve product marketing to a great extent.

Emutex is focusing on reproducing existing functionality within the vending machine by replacing the existing control board. Once the machine can be controlled, it can be brought into the the world of IoT. Ubiworx logic will not only be used to create local control and data acquisition ; but its modularity makes it quite straightforward to add new data streams for motor control, coin counting and keypad input. An Intel vending machine board is used to do motor control, coin mechanism interfacing and keypad input. This is connected to an UP board to provide local control, intelligence, cloud connectivity and local display. Cloud connectivity allows for a connection to cloud based vending applications whereby dispensing a product can now be initiated by the cloud. Customers can now vend products from their smart devices through the cloud.

Up till now, we have a Legacy snack machine with a replaced control board. All the Legacy functions have been reproduced using modern hardware and software. As we continue to advance on this project we will be sure to keep you updated. In the meantime, you can watch the link to a video of products being dispensed through the cloud.