If vending machines can serve up sodas, Slurpees, and snacks, why not cold-pressed juice? That's the concept behind the Juicebot, a new machine that will serve up a $10 pour of four different healthy elixirs on demand, complete with its own chilled mason jar. The project is the brainchild of Kamal Mohamed, Eric Ploeger, and Loring Stead, who initially developed the machine as a class project for their business class at the University of St. Thomas, and are now taking it to the streets with their very first working prototype, housed inside of the Marina's Blue Fog Market.
The juice in the Juicebot is pressed off-site at a commercial kitchen and chilled inside stainless-steel tanks before being dispensed within a 48-hour window; the company claims this process helps protect the juice from oxidation caused by light, allowing the juice inside to stay fresher for a longer period and eliminating the waste caused by plastic bottles. Drinkers pull a mason jar from the machine's built-in fridge, swipe their credit card, and pop it under the dispenser, then choose from a selection of four juices: green, roots (a beet-based juice), citrus (with pineapple, carrot, and turmeric), or seasonal (currently watermelon-cucumber-mint). After the juice is loose, the Juicebot closes its front window and automatically washes itself in preparation for the next customer; when reserves are low, it texts its owner to request a refill.
As with most cold-pressed juices, Juicebot isn't cheap: a mason jar's worth goes for $10. And while similar fancy dispensers like the Sprinkles cupcake ATM run 24 hours, the bot can only be accessed when Blue Fog is open (7 am-9 pm weekdays, 8 am-9 pm weekends). Will the Juicebot become the latest must-have item for swank tech cafeterias and upscale gyms? Considering the juice trend appears to show no sign of slowing, this high-alkaline automaton may appear in your life sooner rather than later: the company already has its eye on two more locations in SF.
Here it is in action (complete with bonus drone footage!)