The Enigmatic is the most mysterious vending machine on the planet. We took an old cash-operated vending machine and transformed it to interact through the web. For our Digital Kitchen + Methodologie party, we created 24 pair-related word puzzles and asked guests to solve them through a simple mobile web interface. Solving these puzzles yielded a related prize.
Most traditional vending machines have two modes. "Vend mode" for regular cash-operated use, and "program mode" for a technician to test the machine. By putting the vending machine into program mode, a technician can "free vend" items by using a series of key presses. I used an Arduino Yun to emulate these keypad presses. When someone on the Enigmatic website got a correct answer, it would send the Arduino a command as to which item to vend. The Arduino would enter it's key commands, and the user would win a prize.