Forget chocolate vending machines, introducing mask vending machines!

I am sure that everyone can relate to this. You are leaving the house, what is your thought process? “Do I have my keys, wallet and phone?”, 3 key things that everyone will consider before they shut the front door. 2020 has added a 4th thing to remember, a mask.

Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, protective masks are our daily companion, whether you are visiting the supermarket or visiting the doctor, it is now the law to wear one.  Some schools are now making it compulsory for children to wear one in communal areas. But how many of us have forgotten our mask and only released when we have reached the shops? So, what can you do in this situation?

More and more vending machines are being placed in front of shops in order to ensure that those that have forgotten their masks can still enter the shop or doctor’s surgery. These dispensers are constructed similarly to toy vending machines seen in amusement arcades. The very machines where you spend at least £10 trying to grab a toy, and failing miserably, have been upgraded to essential items rather than the very non-essential teddy bear. The principle however is the same, instead of a toy, a robot grips a mask and delivers it to the delivery point.

igus® robot kinematics for cost-effective and fast automation

Robot kinematics from igus are ideally suited to such machines. There are options within the low-cost automation range of robots that may be suitable; the delta robot, which enables lightning-fast dispensing of 60 picks/min, or the modular linear robot, which can be designed to suit most situations. Both could be used depending on the requirement.  igus® robots are a cost-effective solution and offer a fast return on investment which makes them ideal for these, hopefully temporary, machines.

Delta robot in mask dispensers

These are ideal for dispensers. This low-cost robot consists of three linear systems that are built up and linked via coupling arms to form the ‘delta’ shape.  The delta robot is characterised by its speed, it achieves up to 60 picks per minute. The delta kinematics are optimal for pick and place applications, e.g. in the food, electronics and pharmaceutical industries and now also ideal with mask dispensers. igus® can supply a finished control concept with the igus® Robot Control system if required.

For more information on this or any of the products to do with mask dispensers please let us know and we will be happy to help.


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