Optical vend-sensing system for control of vending machine

  • US 7,191,915 B2
  • Filed: 05/05/2004
  • Issued: 03/20/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/29/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A method of detecting a dispensed object within a transparent front vending machine, the method comprising:

  • emitting pulsed electromagnetic radiation in a plurality of beams such that said electromagnetic radiation substantially subtends a detection region through which said dispensed object will freely fall, upon being dispensed;

    causing said emitted electromagnetic radiation to reach at least one electromagnetic radiation detecting element;

    selecting a detection threshold that is exceeded when said object to be detected does not intercept said detection region and is not reached when said object intercepts said region; and

    comparing a plurality of signals from said electromagnetic radiation detecting element, each at a different time, to said detection threshold,wherein a pulse width of said pulsed radiation is selected during a calibration so as to account for current ambient light conditions inside the vending machine.

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