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Ball can vending machine

Image Number 9 for United States Patent #5901878.

A ball can vending machine comprises a cylindrical storage drum including a housing section sized to hold a plurality of ball cans with the longitudinal axes of the cans disposed parallel to the cylindrical axis of the housing section. The housing section includes a forward-facing discharge opening and a rear can-guiding surface, and the storage drum is supported with its disposed horizontally. A retaining plate mounted within the housing section and disposed above the discharge opening slopes downwardly toward the rear can-guiding surface. The vending machine also includes a currency validator that produces an output signal upon receiving a preselected amount of currency. A can dispenser is disposed adjacent the discharge opening such that cans within the housing section are urged by gravity toward the can dispenser along the rear-can-guiding surface. The can dispenser includes a selector arm pivotable between a first position and a second position and an actuator connected to the selector arm and responsive to the currency validator. The actuator pivots the selector arm from the first position to the second position in response to the output signal from the validator. The selector arm includes a dispensing plate adapted to hold a ball can in a nesting relationship when the selector arm is in its first position. Movement of the selector arm from the first position to the second position permits the nested ball can to move under the influence of gravity to the discharge opening.

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