Frobot brings frozen yogurt to the vending machine

Waiting in line for the vending machine is common practice for high school students. The glow of florescent lights brings out the delectable flavors on display, primarily of the junk food variety. It is hard to resist the temptation. Even students of culinary arts programs online understand the pure and simple joy that a vending machine can bring when one is hungry. Thanks to a new startup in Washington D.C. there is a new way to enjoy the vending machine, with fro-yo.

Dispensable beginnings
​Froyo, the frozen yogurt alternative to ice cream, has made waves in the recent past with shops opening with self-serve stations. Though the frozen yogurt trend has taken hold in many cities, its creators could not help but notice how few shops were near at hand. The Frobot, developed by Melissa Nelson and Jeremy O’Sullivan and a team of engineers, is a vending machine that delivers frozen yogurt to customers with the simple swipe of a credit card.

“This is about bringing frozen yogurt where frozen yogurt wasn’t before,” O’Sullivan told National Public Radio (NPR).

Headed off by pizza and sushi vending machines, the Frobot is not alone in the history of ready-to-eat food dispensers in the office break room. All customers have to do is place their own cup on the platform beneath the Frobot’s dispenser and watch the magic happen. The design is more similar to that of an extra-large water cooler than a vending machine. It is a tall, white, cylindrical machine that follows a technological style much like automatic drink dispensers.

The best break room
Only one is on the market as of yet, and it is located at UberOffices, where it is emptied every day. Operated by credit card, one 7-ounce serving of the machine’s fro-yo costs only $3. Nelson and O’Sullivan want to see their fro-yo vending machine startup cause a major change in the way frozen treats are bought and made.

O’Sullivan has taken on Frobot as a full-time gig. Now graduated from college, she spends her time improving the product and its output. With this kind of popularity, O’Sullivan will not go wrong, having taken the necessary precautions to ensure the machine passes not only taste standards, but also food regulation standards.

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