As we’ve gone into over the years, Japan is a land of convenience, much of which is provided by vending machines. In fact, counting all vending machines in Japan, there are nearly 5.5 million of them serving a population of 127 million. Half of these, however, are your standard soft drink vendors, and 118k sell razors and socks. Not to mention your odd banana or apple vendors here and there.
One problem that they all face is, in the face of a power-related disaster as we’ve experienced, there’s no easy way to actually get at the drinks without breaking the machine open. Consider this problem now solved, at least from the design perspective, with a hand-crank vendor from Sanden.
As you’ll see in the video, it’s not the easiest task, but seventy cranks into it you can fully power the machine and dispense up to seven bottles before a recharge.
While many machines are designed to dispense free drinks during emergencies, they aren’t much use without electricity. Coca-Cola has attempted to solve the power problem by going solar, but in a dense urban environment even the best solar panels aren’t going to help much. No word on the added cost to each machine for the hand-crank, though it’s safe to say that the physical overhead needed will at least dissuade hoarders to a degree.
For related articles, check out our Japanese Vending Machine Archives