LED Gumball Machine

Do you need an LED? The answer is always yes. But what if you need one right now? Build yourself an LED gumball machine and never run out again!

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Recently, Nate took some time off from creating new boards to work on a project for the BTU Lab at CU Boulder. With this simple machine, students are easily able to dispense a handful of LEDs, since no one seemed to be refilling parts bins (we're looking at you, Chad). It might surprise you how fast a thousand LEDs disappear: two weeks... that's it. With this LED Gumball Dispenser, the LEDs last for more than a semester. It’s amazing how a 15-second pause will cause people to think twice.

LED Gumball Machine

April 24, 2019

Hacking gumball machines to make the world a happier, blinkier place.

So, if you are a teacher and are tired of refilling bins for your students (it also doesn't have to be LEDs; it could be small gifts, buttons or anything you want), or you simply want to make your own gumball dispenser, it's surprisingly easy. With the above tutorial, Nate walks you through each step to make your own LED Dispensing Machine with all the programming on a single Arduino.

Interested in learning more about LEDs?

See our LED page for everything you need to know to start using these components in your project.

Take me there!

Comments 2 comments

  • Member #394180 / about 3 years ago / 2

    This is waaay overengineered. Lose the electronics and stay coin-operated. The simple act of having to insert actual cash will cause more consideration than any amount of delay would. It assigns a value and cost to the action, making the invisible connection between individual and collective good obvious and tangible, and eliminates the tragedy of the commons.

    • That's beautiful and so true. Of course my only though was that they're gonna need a "NOT CANDY, NOT EDIBLE" sticker on there so some stoned student doesn't eat a handful of LEDs.

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