LED Gumball Machine

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Contributors: Nate
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Introduction

Do you need an LED? The answer is always yes. But what if you need one right now? Build yourself an LED gumball machine and never run out again!

Gumball machine filled with LEDs

Approximately 3,000 red 5mm LEDs ready to blink

This machine was created for the BTU Lab at CU Boulder because students constantly needed LEDs but filling parts bins always seemed to fall to the tragedy of the commons. We’d put 1,000 LEDs into the bin and they’d be gone in less than 2 weeks.

Dispensing LEDs

With the LED Gumball dispenser the LEDs last for more than a semester. It’s amazing how much a 15 second pause will cause people to think twice.

Suggested Reading

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SparkFun Inventor's Kit Experiment Guide - v4.0

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And if you really want to get geeky, have a look at this posting on state machines. State machines are a good way to change between the states 'wait for user to press button' to 'ignore buttons and don't dispense right now'.