Disaster-Responsive Vending Machines

Since 2007,the Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage and Coca-Cola West Company, Limited (formerly known as KINKI Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,Ltd.) have been jointly conducting an academic/ cooperative research project for the improvement of disaster prevention ability at a local level through developing automatic vending machines.

Vending machines set up at various locations along the street, focusing on major roadways, not only serve as a source of drinking water when a natural disaster occurs, but are also expected to serve as contact points for information networks and places for providing electricity.

While there has been various research and development until now regarding methods of using vending machines during natural disasters, there has been very little research and development dealing not only primarily with hardware but also with software that supports the efficient use of vending machines for the needs of disaster victims when a disaster occurs.

This institute, which promotes disaster prevention research through synthesis of humanities and the sciences, is therefore aiming to construct disaster mitigation systems that use vending machines built to respond to disaster, based on ordinary vending machines distributed throughout towns, through R&D of vending machines and examination of the regional communities that support those activities, while employing the strength of the Coca-Cola West Company, Limited, which boasts of having the top share of the beverage industry.

Concretely, we are planning the following cooperative research.
  1. Community management of vending machines for safety and security
  2. Support of resident victims’ lifestyle through vending machines
  3. Support of people walking home through networking of vending machines
  4. Systems to keep an eye on the area through vending machines