There's two things that every human being has an insatiable love for: food, and convenience. No matter how luxurious your dining experiences typically are, whether you're used to lobster thermidor on Mornay sauce and the finest wine, every time your tummy rumbles, your brain goes through the following calculation: intensity of hunger, plus preparation time, divided by laziness equals the amount of energy you're willing to expend on your next meal.
It's all due to those dormant, hunter-gatherer vestigial traits that are hiding away in the deepest synaptic trenches of our subconscious mind. It's those primitive survival impulses that compel us to love food that's easy top get your hands on. Consider, for example, the universal popularity of microwave meals fast food outlets, and of course, vending machines.
The first modern, fully-automatic vending machine was invented and patented in Victorian England way back in 1867, and was used to dispense postcards. Nowadays however, most vending machines have been adapted to provide a variety of snacks, such as chocolate bars, or to shoot out coffee or other beverages.
They're pretty useful if you're on the go and starving hungry, but what do you do if you want to sample something a little bit more substantial? Most of the time there's simply no other option beyond a Snickers bar and a half-stale blueberry muffin. Or is there? What if I told you that certain manufacturers have already developed a number of working models of vending machine, designed to dispense hot french fries instantly? Yeah; I'd be feeling pretty excited too.
Amazingly, there have already been a number of designs for French fry vending machines around the world. The first iteration was built in 1982 by a now-defunct Australian company named Precision Fry Foods LTD. The design was discontinued after the company folded, but this wasn't the end of the concept. Beyondte Technology, a Chinese company that was later acquired by a Belgian corporation, created the Robo French fry machine in 2008, which can provide customers with hot French fries in a minute and a half.
The machine weighs 750 lbs, and is capable of cooking the chips in or cooking oil or beef fat. The machine requires regular manual maintenance and cleaning after preparing approximately 150 orders, but is all fully automated via computer. Later models came complete with a sophisticated ventilation system, which employs three filters to reduce odours emitted by the machine.
As of August 2013, an order of French fries from this bizarre contraption will set you back around $3.50, and customers can also choose from a number of condiments, such as mayonnaise or ketchup, provided in single-serving packets. The machine also dispenses plastic cutlery in the form of sporks, in case you want to avoid getting your fingers greasy.
Unfortunately, you'll only be able to find these machines in Belgium and in other parts of Europe. I'm not sure I mind so much actually. I think that if you're going to go to all the trouble of eating fried potato slices, the least you can ask for is that they were prepared by a living, breathing human. But hey, maybe that's just me. We could all have them in our homes someday...