DVD Rental Machine

Hello guys,
I am thinking of manufacturing DVD Vending Machine (DVD Automated Rental Kiosk).
For example: http://www.redbox.com
What would you recommend me, what mechanics to use to make it cheap? What concept?
I thing best would be used some PC controled Robotic arm. For DVD validation I would use DVD drive inside, to check if DVD is same as it was rented out. Better then using RFID or bar codes (cheaper, isn't?) This would require that customers will insert DVD Disc and DVD case separately. We can use one type of case for all DVDs.
About mechanics, how would you do that? Is Robotic arm good solution? For example: http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=2
Costs less then 300 USD. Would be chaper to make custom arm to get DVD, put it into DVD drive and then pick it up and store it?
How would you do this? Looking forward for your inputs, P.S. if anybody is interested to make a working demo for me, just email me. Vlad
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would recommend that you find another business idea. Someone else is already doing this. They already have it implemented and working in the real world. You haven't even started designing your system yet. You should try to make something new and innovative, rather than trying to make a "me-too" product that is years behind the competition.

Vending the DVDs is easy. It is no different than vending a candy bar. The hard part is the retrieval and restocking. I recommend cutting a slot in the side of the machine, and put a plastic bucket at the bottom for the returned DVDs to drop into. Put some foam rubber at the bottom to cushion the fall. Then hire some minimum wage kid to restock the DVDs. That is how my local Blockbuster does it. This low tech solution will allow you to get into the market quickly, which is WAY more important than having some fancy robot arm. Once you have a revenue stream, and a working business model, it may make sense to add some automation.

I think you are expecting way too much of the average consumer.
Back in the early days of CDROMs, many CDROM drives used a "caddy" which was basically a case for the CDROM that was inserted into the drive. The caddies cost about $2 each. If you could find a DVD drive that uses something similar, you could vend and recover the DVDs in the protective caddies.

Too complex. You don't need a high DOF arm. A simple SCARA (2 DOF) system should be good enough. You also don't need a fancy gripper. Try using suction cups attached to a vacuum pump. They are reliable, low maintenance, and they won't scratch the discs. You might look for a DVD drive that can read either side of the disc, that way you don't need a robot arm that can flip it over, since ~20% of your customers will insert it upside down.

No way. Get real.

I wouldn't.
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I agree with Bob. Don't waste your time.
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While cheap labor is certainly something to be considered, I imagine most of the maintenance effort is in actually driving around, rather than time at the machine doing work.
An ideal rental machine should not need human attention, except occasionally to bring in new titles, and remove the less used ones. But, if the machine is occasionally jammed or has other minor mechanical issues, a robotic arm might come in handy. If there were a camera inside the machine, it may be possible to remotely view the problem and nudge the problem DVD into position, thus saving a drive out to the machine.
Of course, I suspect that downloading of the movie over broadband may eventually put rental places out of business and thus your business is gone. But, perhaps the opposite could happen... the DVD robotic rental machine may be the only viable way to physically rent DVD's because of their lower cost of operation, and your market actually grows.
Joe Dunfee
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Good points, and I rather think the world *could* use another DVD sales/renting vending machine, as this market segment is anything but dead or gone. Even with Netflix and VOD, there will continue to be a preference by some for DVDs provided as hard goods. From the OP's mastery of English I imagine he's not targeting this for the US market, so US trends aren't an issue anyway.
To me it's less a matter of going after this market as the OP's phrasing of what he'd like to accomplish -- the mechanics of a DVD rental system for $300, for example. The credit card acceptor costs that much! Businesses interested in leasing one of these things will want a fool-proof design that needs little maintenance. And if used outdoors, is weatherproof and reasonably well made to resist vandals.
There are already a couple of patents (and pending patents) covering vending of CD/DVD/game discs, so any *serious* consideration of making a commercial product should first start by researching the US, UK, Canadian, and French patents, most of which are online and readibly accessible.
-- Gordon
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Thank you for your inputs. I didn't mentioned one important info. Our solution will not be for US
market - from US market we have idea. I did some research and we know there is no way to be
successful competing with RedBox.com and McDonalds.
I think the entire solution can be really low cost. I know ATM CC Acceptor can cost you 300 USD, but
what about USB card readers for 50 $ ! I believe, it's about finding the right solution for the
right price.
I believe in IPTV or other stuff too, but we are not in America here. Also it may take several years
to gain massive acceptance in the US.
I am thinking about launching this service at country with:
1) Local postal service sucks, cannot be trusted. 2) Internet connection is mostly DSL around 256kbps or a bit more 3) Rental shops are rare, not as common 4) no service like Netflix on this market (yet) 5) capital city with 6+ mil people 6) starbucks is here already !
I know many things will change, but DVD rental machine should be smart too. That's why we are more
focused on software and user experience, then hardware components. Having someone to re-stock DVDs is not a bad idea, sometimes simple is better. But that would
require consistent maintenance.
I am not thinking about some big-business money maker here. I am thinking about 5-10 DVD machines
within a year or two - not more for sure. Future will show. I believe that people will still be
interested to rent DVD or (HD-DVD) from conveneitent location and return it. They got DVD players,
they want to use them. Today it's DVD, tomorrow it's HD-DVD or Playstation Games. All these can be merged together.
I am glad for your inputs, even negative which helps me to look at this differently.
Vlad
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Thank you for your inputs. I didn't mentioned one important info. Our solution will not be for US
market - from US market we have idea. I did some research and we know there is no way to be
successful competing with RedBox.com and McDonalds.
I think the entire solution can be really low cost. I know ATM CC Acceptor can cost you 300 USD, but
what about USB card readers for 50 $ ! I believe, it's about finding the right solution for the
right price.
I believe in IPTV or other stuff too, but we are not in America here. Also it may take several years
to gain massive acceptance in the US.
I am thinking about launching this service at country with:
1) Local postal service sucks, cannot be trusted. 2) Internet connection is mostly DSL around 256kbps or a bit more 3) Rental shops are rare, not as common 4) no service like Netflix on this market (yet) 5) capital city with 6+ mil people 6) starbucks is here already !
I know many things will change, but DVD rental machine should be smart too. That's why we are more
focused on software and user experience, then hardware components. Having someone to re-stock DVDs is not a bad idea, sometimes simple is better. But that would
require consistent maintenance.
I am not thinking about some big-business money maker here. I am thinking about 5-10 DVD machines
within a year or two - not more for sure. Future will show. I believe that people will still be
interested to rent DVD or (HD-DVD) from conveneitent location and return it. They got DVD players,
they want to use them. Today it's DVD, tomorrow it's HD-DVD or Playstation Games. All these can be merged together.
I am glad for your inputs, even negative which helps me to look at this differently.
Vlad
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P.S. For your information;
I access this newsgroup through Google. A Google "related pages" link came up on the side..."MovieMate Introduces New DVD Vending Machine MovieMate, Inc. is unveiling a new generation of automatic DVD ... www.amonline.com"
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A factor to consider:
Rather than a free-standing kiosk (which is how I read your specs) consider something placed in an existing establishment... such as a Starbucks.
They can resolve minor issues, perhaps taking payment and giving a token for use in the machine. That removes the issue of the credit card reader.
At this level the conceptual model here is that of a juke box.
Further, the establishment can perform the function of checking the returned DVDs for proper title and condition.
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Hi, Firzsu is a premium USA movie rental company offering vast range of premium movies on rental respectively Indian Bellwood movies, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali etc for more details please visit : https://www.frizsu.com/
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