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Are Mobile Vending Machines the future?
2019 was barely three days old and we saw what might be the future of the vending machine industry trundle across a university campus in California: a fleet of three self driving vending machines called SNACKBOT that deliver your chosen product direct to your door.
Pepsi-Co have been testing self driving vending machines in collaboration with a company called Robby Technologies at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Students use their mobile phones or computers to place their orders and then go to one of 50 or more pre-designated locations across the campus where they will meet up with the mobile vending machine containing their chosen product. What is more, the most of the available products are from the companies healthier range of foods and drinks.
The robot vending machines are six wheeled vehicles that have a top speed of 6 mph and stand around 3 foot tall. Robby Technologies insist that safety is paramount and if someone were to walk in front of the mobile vending machine it would automatically stop to avoid a collision. Each of the robots have a range of 20 miles on a single charge and can work unaided in the dark, rain or even over steep hills. Currently the do require a human to replenish the stock inside the vending machine and to change the batteries.