Modded Gumball Machine Dispenses Sweet Treats With a Tweet

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[Photo: _macke_ on Instructables]
Casual social media users and neophytes often ask “What’s Twitter for?”, and they only occasionally understand (or believe) the response. Well, the next time you get that question, give them something that makes perfect sense: Twitter is for distributing candy.

When Michael Nilsson and Markus Olsson were trying to figure out how to motivate their development team, and realized that “everyone likes candy”. They then put together a system resembling the old “push button, get pellet” rodent experiments of yore: When programmers @_macke_ or @sidpiraya are mentioned on Twitter, a script checks for the words “give” and “candy”.

Once those conditions are matched, a reward is dished out: Nilsson and Olsson rigged up a candy dispenser by taking out the manual crank, attaching it to a servo and then jury-rigging it with a laptop that acts on the instructions of the Twitter-reading script.

What’s the result? When someone tweets “Give @_macke candy” or “Give @sidpiraya candy”, the machine spits some out and the lucky developer gets to enjoy a well-earned sugar rush. It’s a fun (and very geeky) way to pat good programmers on the head and, given what’s likely to happen once enough people learn about this, make them diabetic.

If you want to catch a bit of the Twittercandy awesomeness in action, drop by and watch the machine do what it’s there for. Wanna try it yourself? Go check out Instructables and get to work!

[Instructables via Hack a Day]

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