Robotic vending machines may be used in the future, to sell products in apartment buildings. These computer-controlled vending machines would be built on wheeled platforms, their wheels will allow them to travel through the hallways of apartment buildings.
Each vending machine will be powered with rechargeable batteries or a fuel cell. Each vending machine will have a machine-vision system or some other means of guidance, so it can avoid obstacles and guide itself as it travels along hallways.
Robotic vending machines can be used to sell small items, such as pre-paid debit cards, candy bars, pens and pencils, etc. A customer who wants to buy something from a robotic vending machine can call one, by telephone, and the vending machine will come to his apartment. Getting to the apartment may require going into an elevator to reach upper floors, so the machine would have to be small enough to fit into an elevator. Once the machine has reached the apartment where it was needed, it rings a ball, to summon the customer to the door. The customer then buys items from the vending machine by inserting cash or a debit card. After the purchase is made, the vending machine automtically returns to it's storage area. The storage area may be a closet inside the apartment building, or a garage near the building. The storage area may also function as a recharging station, to recharge the machine's batteries.
Invention by Anthony Ratkov.
Computer graphic illustrations by Anthony Ratkov.