Creating an Automated Sales Stall

I am currently working on a project for an automated sales stall where customers can view items and make purchases entirely on their own. The system I am attempting to implement is microcontroller-based. Since all items would need to be tracked and accounted for (to prevent theft), I need to find a way to find a way of detecting if any of the objects from the kiosk leave a zone of specific area (say around 3 feet) around the stall. The only way I can think of implement this is by using UHF RFID labels for each of the items and using a reader like the Cottonwood USB Long Range UHF RFID reader to detect if any of the items move out of range. Is there any other (hopefully simpler) method of doing this?

I thought these Best Buy vending machines were mildly interesting.

I don't think I would buy anything from one. It does look like there might be an Arduino in there. It will probably get stuck when trying to vend...

Hi,
The local office supply and computer stores here, all have their easily picked up items on lanyards.
Tie everything to a lanyard and only unlock it when they have bought it.

If you use RFID and the item goes outside the area, what ya gunna do, there is no one there, its gone........
All it will do is keep your bookkeeping balance with the shoplifted column.

Tom.... :slight_smile:

TomGeorge:
If you use RFID and the item goes outside the area, what ya gunna do, there is no one there, its gone........
All it will do is keep your bookkeeping balance with the shoplifted column.

Tom.... :slight_smile:

the ITEM should be beeping. it would have the other shoppers watch as the device is walked out the door.

Hi.

the ITEM should be beeping. it would have the other shoppers watch as the device is walked out the door.

Exactly, watch as it walks out the door…too late…mate.

[soapbox] If you expect the general public to do your security for you, sorry, its so rare in this world, when a member of the public does act, its world headline news. [/soapbox]

Tom… :slight_smile:

there are a few limited distance wireless devices. since it is pointless to have an alarm go off in one location and the merchandise go off without any sort of alarm, that means that the merchandise should have an alarm

you could have your base send out a signal that did not get more than a few feet. the size of the both ?
if the device did not get a signal, it could beep a few friendly beeps. then become more and more annoying.

you could even have it play out some voices.

'please return me to my display, system re-set is required'

or

'out of range too long, sending tracking data'
then play a crappy recording "this is 911 we are tracking your location, what is your emergency...."