Vending machine sells pho and pays change
VietNamNet Bridge - A new vending machine allows customers to insert money into a slot, press a button, receive change and wait 90 seconds for a bowl of delicious pho. 


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The product was created by students at the mechanical engineering faculty of the HCMC University of Polytechnic Education to fulfill an order from an enterprise, under the guidance of  Dean Nguyen Truong Thinh.

The cretors of the machine – Pham Ngoc Dien, Vong Ly Phu and Nguyen Hao Quang are all fourth-year students. This is the first pho vending machine in Vietnam.

“The client wanted a machine with highest possible containing capacity with rice noodles and beef and a vegetable preservation unit kept at 5-10oC and broth at 80-90oC. The machine has to be able to receive money and pay change,” Dien said.

After referring to foreign-made vending machine models, the three students began their design. They only have knowledge about mechanical engineering, but they had to deal with problems in refrigeration engineering as well.

After six months of hard work, the vending machine was created. The machine is 2.1 meters tall, 1.5 meters wide and 0.8 meters deep. It can provide 48 bowls of pho (300 gram per bowl) with spoons and chopsticks.

After six months of hard work, the vending machine was created. The machine is 2.1 meters tall, 1.5 meters wide and 0.8 meters deep. It can provide 48 bowls of pho (300 gram per bowl) with spoons and chopsticks.

When buyers insert money into the slot and press the button, rice noodles will be carried out of the cold storage cabinet and put into a bowl. The rice noodle will be dipped in 90oC water twice to heat it up. After that, meat and vegetables will be put into the bowl and transferred to the broth supply unit before a ready-made bowl of pho is provided to clients. 

The whole process lasts one minute and 30 seconds. All the bowls, chopsticks and spoons used at the machine are disposable.

Nguyen Hao Quang, one of the creators, said the outstanding feature of the machine is that it can pay change. If clients insert a banknote with high value, the machine will automatically give the change before the process is activated.

When materials and broth in the machine are about to run out, the machine will send messages to the owners for charge. If troubles occur, the machine will automatically turn off to ensure safety for users.

Huynh Mach Anh Ninh, one of the first clients, said he likes using the machine because he just needs to wait several minutes instead of 20-30 minutes. However, he said the students should re-set the time for dipping rice noodles in hot water.

“The rice noodle is kept at the temperature of 5oC and it needs more time in hot water to get softer,” he said.


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Thanh Lich

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