BOSTON (MainStreet) - Most of us probably take vending machines for granted. Usually they are there to keep our blood sugar in check and our sweet tooth satisfied as we pace the halls of a school, hospital or courthouse.

For all their convenience, however, the standard technology had grown long in the tooth, mostly unchanged over the decades. How many times have you had to abandon a can of Pepsi because the jangling change in your pocket came up a nickel short? It may be funny when it happens to someone else, but how annoying is that ritualistic dance of rejected dollar bills - repetitively smoothing out George Washington only to have the machine spit it back out with the motorized equivalent of "Pffffft"?

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