Patent Number: 6,794,634

Title: Optical vend-sensing system for control of vending machine

Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.

Inventors: Hair, III; James M. (Cheyenne, WY), Spentzos; Kyriakos P. (Santa Rosa, CA)

Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.

International Classification: G07F 9/02 (20060101); G07F 11/04 (20060101); G01N 009/04 (); H01J 003/14 (); G07F 011/00 (); B65H 003/00 ()

Expiration Date: 09/21/2021