MAR 23, 2016 12:14 PM PDT

Here's How Vending Machines Know When Coins Are Fake


Chances are, you've used some type of a vending machine before. They are useful when you want a quick snack or something to drink, but they sometimes offer games for your entertainment to win a prize, or they have non-edible items inside.

Either way, most of them exist because they're there to make money. They collect your hard-earned cash, and even your coins, in exchange for goods or entertainment. But how do these machines know when you're putting in a real or a fake coin, and how are they able to detect exactly how much money you've put into it?

Special light sensors are built into the machine that measure the thickness of every coin inserted. These sensors can distinguish between pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Moreover, a special electromagnet measures the levels of magnetism from any coin entered such that coins made of non-recognized metals are sent to the return dispenser instead of the coin collector.

In being able to distinguish between change types, this also allows the machine to know what you just paid with and to provide you with the proper change where necessary.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
Here's What Happens Inside a Caterpillar's Chrysalis
When a caterpillar undergoes the complex biological process of metamorphosis, it does so inside of a pointy bean-shaped enclosure that many people like to...
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
These Animals Give Birth to the Largest Babies in the World
Moms everywhere will tell you all about the excruciating labor pains that come along with delivering a baby, but in the animal kingdom, many newborns are s...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
The Universe is So Vast That Even the Speed of Light Seems Insignificant
When astronomers measure the distance between two distant objects in outer space, the term ‘light-year’ gets tossed around somewhat frequently....
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
How Much Do You Know About NASA's Voyager Missions?
NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft each launched in 1977 for a unique opportunity to explore the solar system’s outermost planets in unprecedent...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
Could the Successful Juno Mission See an Extension Beyond 2021?
The Juno mission, launched by NASA in 2011 to explore the fascinating Jovian system, finally arrived at its destination in 2016. Since then, the spacecraft...
NOV 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 20, 2019
What are "Tears of Wine"?
Have you noticed: every time after pouring wine, near the top of a wine glass there's always a ring of liquid, where droplets form and continue to fall...
Loading Comments...