The Frobot: The Future of Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt has become pretty popular in recent years. Sales of the alternative to ice cream grew by 74 percent between 2011 and 2013. Now, a new invention hopes to improve the way you purchase that bowl of fro-yo. It's in the form of a vending machine, and it's called the Frobot.
Many frozen yogurt stores are now self-service, allowing the customers to select the amount of frozen yogurt and toppings that they would like. However, the new Frobot vending machine would like to improve the experience even further and make frozen yogurt even more accessible. It works like this: The customer swipes his or her credit card, and the Frobot dispenses seven ounces of one flavor. The customer's credit card is charged three dollars.
While the vending machine can't be found in various locations throughout the country just yet, UberOffices, a work space in Washington D.C., is currently testing the Frobot on its premises.
Melissa Nelson and Jeremy O'Sullivan, creators of the Frobot, hope to launch a model that will let customers choose one of two flavors and even select different sizes. "This is about bringing frozen yogurt where frozen yogurt wasn't before," O'Sullivan explains. He hopes to have over 100 more Frobots around the country by 2015 and eventually to create a version of the machine that can swirl two flavors together. He especially hopes that the device will give employees stuck in offices all day the ability enjoy a treat whenever they like.
Of course, frozen yogurt isn't the first novelty food to get its own vending machine. Farmer's Fridge put salads into vending machines in Chicago, while Pepsi tried to exchange Facebook likes for sodas, and in 2014, Sprinkles debuted the world's first cupcake vending machine.