ATM-like cup-cake machine unveiled in US

For all those who have a midnight sweet tooth craving, a bakery chain in the US has come up with the world's first automatic cup-cake vending machine, allowing one to buy the cakes as easy as taking money from an ATM.

The machine can hold 600 cupcakes and was installed in front of Sprinkles' flagship store in Beverly Hills here.

A touch screen display on the machine will allow customers choose from a range of flavours, including vanilla, red velvet, chocolate marshmallow and cinnamon sugar.

"It's the concept of making sure someone can get a freshly baked cupcake at anytime," Sprinkles spokesperson Vineet Chaplot was quoted.

"We have a lot of customers who like to come later at night." To the casual passerby, it looks just like a regular old cash-dispensing ATM, but a second look tells a different story. Customers flick a touch screen to get started, then up pops a menu of cupcakes, cake mixes, apparel and doggie cupcakes. Then they make a selection, swipe a credit card, and wait for the fun part."

"While the credit card is processing, you'll see a video of the actual camera on the robotic arm going and getting the cupcake that you'll receive," said Chaplot.

The robotic arm places the cupcake onto a platform, and then the dainty cardboard box is revealed at the turn of a cylinder.

"We're stocking the cupcakes day and night, so anyone that comes to get a cupcake is getting a fresh one. It's not something that's been sitting in the machine for a long time."

Sprinkles is expanding this technology to their nine locations across the country. New York, Washington DC and Chicago will see Cupcake ATMs on the streets this summer.

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