Upstate Networks Inc. Introduces Hardware To Integrate With Raspberry Pi Single Board Computer

Raspberry-Pi-Linus-ControllerUpstate Networks Inc., a manufacturer of hardware and software designed to interface vending products to PCs and other general purpose computers, has introduced adapters to make managing existing vending machines more versatile. The PLUM payment layer for unattended merchandising system hardware integrates with the Raspberry Pi Linux embedded controller.

The PLUM system consists of three separate devices.

The PLUM-OUT is a piece of hardware known as a “H.A.T.” (Hardware Attached on Top) used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi. This allows a Raspberry Pi to act as a cashless device when combined with any multidrop bus (MDB) vending machine. The vending machine system integrator or developer can place credit on any MDB vending machine after consulting a database, magswipe, Bluetooth or cell phone to verify funds are available and approve or deny the vend accordingly.

The Raspberry Pi and PLUM OUT Hat are installed as a slave device for an existing vending machine controller (VMC). This allows the Raspberry Pi to handle the functions normally controlled by the VMC such as beginning or ending a session as well as accepting or rejecting a session.

With the Raspberry Pi connected to the Internet, a remote device can replace the vending machine controller and perform all of its functions.

The PLUM IN is a device used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi to interface the MDB used by various devices, including dollar bill validators, coin acceptors, coin dispensers, smart cards, foreign currency, etc. This allows the Raspberry Pi to handle incoming funds and to store them in the cloud when connected to the Internet or to another local client which is recommended for projects which are kiosk based.

The PLUM Picker is a Raspberry Pi Hat that controls the item selection process. With the Raspberry Pi connected to the Internet, the PLUM Picker can be used as an interface between a vending machine and the cloud to enable the use of a cell phone or a remote client as a selection device.

Typically, the vending machine is placed in free vend mode and the keypad is removed and replaced with the PLUM Picker, allowing the VMC to dispense items based on cloud-based rule sets such as a database, blockchain confirmation, or any cloud based authentication/authorization pair.

When the PLUM Picker is used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi, the hardware keypad can be replaced with a touchscreen to accommodate the item selection process.

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