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Title:
AN IOT ENABLED SMART MEAL DISPENSING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/198915
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a IoT sensor equipped meal dispensing kiosk system (100) which can be placed in corporate spaces, institutions, public travel stations like airports etc. The dispensing system (100) can store foods from respective restaurants, any catering service units, any franchise units etc. The system (100) comprises a food dispensing kiosk (104) having one or more units selected from a collecting unit (106), a conveyor unit (108), a warming unit (114), an user interface (112) and a meal dispensing unit (110) having multiple dispensing outlets (1104) & a cup dispensing unit (1102); one or more sensors (120) disposed in the each of the one or more units; and a processing module (102) connected with the one or more sensors (120) and the one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk (104).

Inventors:
SUBBIAH MUTHUKUMARAN (IN)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2021/052641
Publication Date:
October 07, 2021
Filing Date:
March 30, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SUBBIAH MUTHUKUMARAN (IN)
International Classes:
G06Q20/18; G07F11/00; G07F11/58; G16Y10/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAHIYA, Vivek (IN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An loT enabled smart meal dispensing system (100), the system (100) comprising: a food dispensing kiosk (104) having one or more units selected from a collecting unit (106), a conveyor unit (108), a warming unit (114) , an user interface (112) and a meal dispensing unit (110) having multiple dispensing outlets (1104), one or more cooling units & a cup dispensing unit (1102); one or more sensors (120) disposed in the each of the one or more units; and a processing module (102) connected with the one or more sensors (120) and the one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk (104); wherein the collecting unit (106) is adapted to store beverages, sauces, spreads, toppings and food items selected from vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan food in separate containers; wherein the cup dispensing unit (1102) stores a plurality of cups and is connected with a conveyor belt of the conveyor unit (108); wherein the processing module (102) is configured to: receive an order of a meal and/or beverages from a user using the user interface (112); actuate the meal dispensing unit (110) to dispense the plurality of cups over the conveyor belt, move plurality of cups to separate containers of the collecting unit (106) to collect the respective items as per the order and deliver the collected items separately to the respective dispensing outlet; monitor one or more parameters of the food items and beverages such as temperature, stored quantity, dispensed quantity, moisture, and condition using the one or more sensors (120) in each of the separate containers; analyse data received from sensors and plurality of orders received from a plurality of users on a daily basis for machine learning and predictions; and display information selected from food items available, selection menu, order number, order status, billing details and one or more instructions, on a display unit of the user interface (112).

2. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1, comprises a payment module (116) adapted to facilitate payment for each order made at the food dispensing kiosk (104).

3. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the food is dispensed according to the amount and/or a diet plan selected by the user.

4. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the food dispensing kiosk (104) comprises a gravy unit (122) adapted to store gravy-based food items and is also disposed with the one or more sensors (120).

5. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the food dispensing kiosk (104) comprises a cleaning unit (118) configured to clean the one or more units and other components of the system (100), the cleaning unit (118) having one or more cleaning cartridges, water jets connected with water supply, collection tray connected with a drain.

6. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the warming unit (114) is configured to warm the food items received therein; wherein the one or more units and the plurality of cups containing food items therein, are received in the warming unit (114) via the conveyor belt.

7. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the one or more sensors (120) are selected from temperature sensors, moisture sensors, thermal cameras, Infrared (IR) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, speed sensors, dirt sensors and weight sensors.

8. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein receiving the order from the user includes receiving one or more of names of the desired food items along with respective quantities, desired toppings, desired sauces, desired spreads, desired beverage and desired heating time for beverage.

9. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the predictions based on data analysis by processing module (102) includes predicting the amount of food being served, predict the amount of food that is served over a period of time, automatically order the food items before getting out of stock and deliver fresh hot foods to the consumer when the food item is selected by the user in a short period of time.

10. The system (100) as claimed as in claim 1 , wherein the processing module (102) includes a communication module configured to connect the food dispensing kiosk (104) to wirelessly connect with the external computing devices and facilitate wireless reception of orders and payment thereof.

Description:
AN loT ENABLED SMART MEAL DISPENSING SYSTEM

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to a meal dispensing systems and food vending machines. More particularly, the present invention relates to an loT enabled smart meal dispensing system which can be installed in commercial spaces like corporates, educational institutions and also restaurants etc. This invention can dispense any variety of a meal or a snack including vegetarian, non-vegetarian, vegan etc. that can dispense the food in the required quantity selected by the user.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Time is an important factor which is to be utilized properly. But without our knowledge a lot of time is spent in canteens and restaurants waiting for food in work places like corporate IT parks, educational institutions etc. Thus, a smart-meal dispensing system that can dispense the food ordered or selected by the user in a short time may be beneficial.

The cost of setting up of any canteen, food court or food stall in any corporate work place or educational institutions or any public place is high.

In addition to that a major amount goes as salary for the people who work there including people who cook if any, who serve the food, clean and maintain the space. Thus, a smart meal dispensing system for dispensing any meal that occupies only a small space and that can eliminate the cost for the space of the setup, the cost for the people to serve and maintain the space may be beneficial.

Wastage of foods is a common problem in any canteen or a franchise restaurant where the prepared food comes from a central kitchen. In those cases, pre-order of foods to the kitchen before a particular food gets over leads to wastage of foods and causes overhead losses for the restaurants since in many cases the restaurants take back the food. This in turn causes a to-and-fro logistics charge for the restaurants. Thus, a smart meal dispensing system that can calculate the amount of food being served, predict the amount of food that is served over a period of time, automatically order the food which is about to get over at the right time and deliver fresh hot foods to the consumer when the food is selected by the consumer in a short period of time may be beneficial.

In some scenarios, when one person goes to a restaurant or a canteen or a food court to eat, he may want to taste multiple foods items, but since he/she has no one to share the food, he/she may just order a single food item. This is because all the presently available solution have options to dispense a fixed quantity of food for every serving. So, considering the wastage of food and money in ordering too many foods just for taste, the user opts to only buy a single item. Thus, it is desirable to have a smart weighing meal dispenser which can dispense the meal in the quantity selected by the user wherein the user pays only for the amount of food he ordered or selected may be beneficial. In such systems, the user should have option to only pay for the quantity of food that he/she orders, enabling to order other foods he may want to have in any quantity saving the cost. But unfortunately, no such systems exist.

Therefore, there is a need in the art for an loT enabled smart meal dispensing system which can be installed in commercial spaces like corporates, educational institutions and also restaurants etc. and can dispense any variety of a meal or a snack in the required quantity selected by the user.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The principal object of the embodiments herein is to disclose a smart meal or snack dispensing system that may dispense any variety of food at any required quantity selected by the consumer in a short period of time.

Another object of the invention is to disclose a smart meal or a snack dispensing system for dispensing any variety of food like vegetarian, non vegetarian, vegan etc. and also cold dishes like juices, ice creams, salads etc. at any quantity selected by the user which can be installed in commercial work places like IT parks, educational institutions, restaurants etc. Whereas currently there are separate canteens, food courts or any franchise restaurants etc. which are set up in the corporate spaces, educational institutions etc. which consume a lot of space and requires a lot of cost for it, its maintenance and for the people who work there.

Another object of the invention is to disclose an loT enabled smart meal dispensing system for delivering fresh foods to the user within a short span of time and which can continuously monitor the amount of food being served and also predict the amount of food remaining in the dispenser and the number of servings the remaining food can serve. Whereas, in the present system, incorrect human predictions and pre-order of food which is about to get over because of the inability to continuously monitor the amount of food remaining and being served leads to the wastage of food and cost.

Another object of invention is to disclose an automatic smart meal/ snack dispenser whereas the food is stored in cartridges inside the dispensing unit. These cartridges are either placed inside a warming unit or a cooling unit depending on the food being stored inside the cartridges and are automatically dispensed without any manual intervention when the consumer selects the dish to be dispensed. In the current system, the food is stored outside in open environment which is not hygienic for human consumption and also it eventually becomes cold making it not able for human consumption.

Another object of invention is to disclose an loT enabled automatic smart meal/ snack dispenser which can be operated using a mobile app or through the display which is provided in the dispensing kiosk. From these, the consumer can select the menu, their preferences of various factors like temperature, additional add-ons etc. Once the menu is selected by the user, the nutritional value of the food, their nature including the spiciness, temperature etc. selected by the user is displayed and from these factors the user can decide if they want to proceed with the order or not.

Another object of invention is to disclose a temperature controllable or a temperature varying smart-meal dispensing kiosk. In this, food to be dispensed is stored in cartridges which are placed inside a temperature controllable or temperature varying unit. There are sensors placed inside the unit, which monitors the temperature inside the unit and automatically adjusts the temperature relatively to the outside temperature. And also, the temperature of the unit can be controlled by the operator based on his/her preferences which can be either hot to keep the foods hot or cold to preserve the food kept inside during any unfavourable conditions.

Another object of invention is to disclose a smart loT enabled weigh based meal dispenser which dispenses the food in the quantity mentioned and ordered by the user in certain weights. The consumer can only pay for the amount or quantity of the food he orders, thus allowing him to have an option to also buy and taste other foods in small quantities and pay only for what they want to eat in certain type of food.

Another object of invention is to disclose a smart loT enabled healthy meal dispenser which can be installed in corporate work places, educational institutions etc., which can dispense meal according to the meal plan selected or opted by the consumer which can be weekly, monthly, twice a week, five days a week etc. or any duration which the user wants. This may act a diet planner which dispenses a perfect balanced healthy meal designed by the health preferences or the requirements opted by the user either for a breakfast, lunch, evening snack or dinner whichever way the user selects or opts for their customized requirements through the mobile app.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts, in a simple manner, which is further described in the detailed description of the invention. This summary is neither intended to identify key or essential inventive concepts of the subject matter, nor to determine the scope of the invention.

Embodiments of the present invention provide an loT enabled smart meal dispensing system. The system comprises a food dispensing kiosk having one or more units selected from a collecting unit, a conveyor unit, a warming unit, an user interface and a meal dispensing unit having multiple dispensing outlets, a cooling unit for cooling certain food items or drinks & a cup dispensing unit; one or more sensors disposed in the each of the one or more units; and a processing module connected with the one or more sensors and the one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk. In an aspect, the system facilitates dispensing food according to the amount and/or a diet plan selected by the user.

Further, the collecting unit is adapted to store beverages, sauces, spreads, toppings and food items selected from vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan food in separate containers. The cup dispensing unit stores a plurality of cups and is connected with a conveyor belt of the conveyor unit. Additionally, the processing module is configured to receive an order of a meal and/or beverages from a user using the user interface; actuate the meal dispensing unit to dispense the plurality of cups over the conveyor belt, move plurality of cups to separate containers of the collecting unit to collect the respective items as per the order and deliver the collected items separately to the respective dispensing outlet; monitor one or more parameters of the food items and beverages such as temperature, stored quantity, dispensed quantity, moisture, and condition using the one or more sensors in each of the separate containers; analyse data received from sensors and plurality of orders received from a plurality of users on a daily basis for machine learning and predictions; and display information selected from food items available, selection menu, order number, order status, billing details and one or more instructions, on a display unit of the user interface.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the system comprises a payment module adapted to facilitate payment for each order made at the food dispensing kiosk.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the food dispensing kiosk comprises a gravy unit adapted to store gravy-based food items and is also disposed with the one or more sensors.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the food dispensing kiosk comprises a cleaning unit configured to clean the one or more units and other components of the system, the cleaning unit having one or more cleaning cartridges, water jets connected with water supply, collection tray connected with a drain.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the warming unit is configured to warm the food items received therein and the one or more units and the plurality of cups containing food items therein, are received in the warming unit via the conveyor belt.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the one or more sensors are selected from temperature sensors, moisture sensors, thermal cameras, Infrared (IR) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, speed sensors, dirt sensors and weight sensors.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, receiving the order from the user includes receiving one or more of names of the desired food items along with respective quantities, desired toppings, desired sauces, desired spreads, desired beverage and desired heating time for any food item selected by the user.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the predictions based on data analysis by processing module includes but not limited to predicting the amount of food being served, predict the amount of food that is served over a period of time, automatically order the food items before getting out of stock and deliver fresh hot foods to the consumer when the food item is selected by the user in a short period of time.

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, the processing module includes a communication module configured to connect the food dispensing kiosk to wirelessly connect with the external computing devices and facilitate wireless reception of orders and payment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

This invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, block diagrams throughout which like reference letters indicate corresponding parts in the various figures. The embodiments herein will be better understood from the following description with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an loT enabled smart meal dispensing system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1 A represents the collecting unit of a food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to embodiments as disclosed herein; FIG. 1 B represents the conveyor unit of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein;

FIG. 1 C represents a dispensing unit of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein;

FIG. 1 D represents a display unit of a user interface of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein;

FIG. 1 E represents the warming unit of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein;

FIG. 1 F represents a gravy unit of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein;

FIG. 1 G represents the payment module of the food dispensing kiosk shown in fig. 1 , according to the embodiments as disclosed herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

While the present invention is described herein by way of example using embodiments and illustrative drawings, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the embodiments of drawing or drawings described and are not intended to represent the scale of the various components. Further, some components that may form a part of the invention may not be illustrated in certain figures, for ease of illustration, and such omissions do not limit the embodiments outlined in any way. It should be understood that the drawings and detailed description thereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. As used throughout this description, the word "may" is used in a permissive sense (i.e., meaning having the potential to), rather than the mandatory sense, (i.e., meaning must). Further, the words "a" or "an" mean "at least one” and the word “plurality” means “one or more” unless otherwise mentioned. Furthermore, the terminology and phraseology used herein is solely used for descriptive purposes and should not be construed as limiting in scope. Language such as "including," "comprising," "having," "containing," or "involving," and variations thereof, is intended to be broad and encompass the subject matter listed thereafter, equivalents, and additional subject matter not recited, and is not intended to exclude other additives, components, integers or steps. Likewise, the term "comprising" is considered synonymous with the terms "including" or "containing" for applicable legal purposes. Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles and the like is included in the specification solely for the purpose of providing a context for the present invention. It is not suggested or represented that any or all of these matters form part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present invention.

The present invention is described hereinafter by various embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein reference numerals used in the accompanying drawing correspond to the like elements throughout the description. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment set forth herein. Rather, the embodiment is provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. In the following detailed description, numeric values and ranges are provided for various aspects of the implementations described. These values and ranges are to be treated as examples only and are not intended to limit the scope of the claims. In addition, a number of materials are identified as suitable for various facets of the implementations. These materials are to be treated as exemplary and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

As is traditional in the field, embodiments may be described and illustrated in terms of blocks which carry out a described function or functions. These blocks, which may be referred to herein as managers, units, modules, hardware components or the like, are physically implemented by analog and/or digital circuits such as logic gates, integrated circuits, microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory circuits, passive electronic components, active electronic components, optical components, hardwired circuits and the like, and may optionally be driven by firmware and software. The circuits may, for example, be embodied in one or more semiconductor chips, or on substrate supports such as printed circuit boards and the like. The circuits constituting a block may be implemented by dedicated hardware, or by a processor (e.g., one or more programmed microprocessors and associated circuitry), or by a combination of dedicated hardware to perform some functions of the block and a processor to perform other functions of the block. Each block of the embodiments may be physically separated into two or more interacting and discrete blocks without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Likewise, the blocks of the embodiments may be physically combined into more complex blocks without departing from the scope of the disclosure.

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 1.g, where similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the figures, there are shown preferred embodiments.

The embodiments disclosed herein can be implemented through at least one software program running on at least one hardware device and performing network management functions to control the elements. The elements shown in FIGS. 1 to 1 .g include blocks which can be at least one of a hardware device, or a combination of hardware device and one or more software.

Figure 1 illustrates an Internet Of Things (loT) enabled smart meal dispensing system (100) (hereinafter referred to as “the system (100)”), in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In general, the Internet of things can be described as a network of physical objects — “things” or objects — that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet. So, the present invention provides a smart meal/snack dispensing system (100), which is loT enabled equipped with sensors for continuous monitoring and accessing of a food dispensing kiosk (104).

As shown in figure 1 , the system (100) comprises, but not limited to, a food dispensing kiosk (104) having one or more units, one or more sensors (120) disposed in the each of the one or more units; and a processing module (102) connected with the one or more sensors (120) and the one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk (104). The meal may include already prepared frozen food items, or yet to be prepared food items and beverages. In that sense, the food dispensing kiosk (104) is envisaged to store, but not limited to, beverages, sauces, spreads, toppings and food items selected from vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan food.

The one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk (104) are selected from, but not limited to, a collecting unit (106), a conveyor unit (108), a warming unit (114), an user interface (112) and a meal dispensing unit (110), which will be described individually with the help block diagrams later in the description.

These one or more units enable the food dispensing kiosk (104) to store the food items and other consumable items, in a sealed manner to prevent any contamination and allow loading, transporting, re-stocking or any other functions which are facilitated inside the food dispensing kiosk (104) (right from receiving an order for a food item selected by the user, up to the successful dispersion of the selected food. Further, these one or more units are also responsible to keep the food in optimum conditions, depending on the type and preferences of the operator (in case of storing) and the preferences of the consumer (at the time of dispensing).

Further, the one or more sensors (120) disposed in each of the one or more units are selected from, but not limited to, temperature sensors, moisture sensors, thermal cameras, Infrared (IR) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, speed sensors, dirt sensors and weight sensors. In some embodiments, these sensors may also be used in combination in some scenarios such as, for measuring quantity of the meal, or remaining levels/number of food items/beverages, or condition of food items etc.

Additionally, the one or more sensors (120) are connected with the processing module (102). Additionally, the processing module (102) is envisaged to include computing capabilities such as a memory unit configured to store machine readable instructions. The machine-readable instructions may be loaded into the memory unit from a non-transitory machine-readable medium, such as, but not limited to, CD-ROMs, DVD- ROMs and Flash Drives. Alternately, the machine-readable instructions may be loaded in a form of a computer software program into the memory unit. The memory unit in that manner may be selected from a group comprising EPROM, EEPROM and Flash memory. Then, the processing module (102) includes a processor operably connected with the memory unit. In one embodiment, the processor may be a microprocessor selected from one of, but not limited to an ARM based or Intel based processor or in the form of field-programmable gate array (FPGA), a general-purpose processor and an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). In another embodiment, the processing module (102) may include a microcontroller. The microcontroller (MCU for microcontroller unit) may understood as a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chip that contains one or more CPUs (processor cores) along with memory and programmable input/output peripherals.

Further, the processing module (102) further comprises a communication module are configured for enabling wireless connection of the food dispensing kiosk (104) with the external computing devices and facilitate wireless reception of orders and payment thereof.. In that sense, the communication module (1028) may be an Internet of Things (IOT) module, WiFi module, Bluetooth module, RF module etc. adapted to enable a wireless communication between the external computing devices and the food dispensing kiosk (104) via a wireless communication network. External computing devices may be, but not limited to, smartphones, tablets, laptops et. of the users. The wireless communication network may be, but not limited to, Internet, Bluetooth, RF network, NFC, WIFI intranet network, Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). The wireless communication network may be implemented using a number of protocols, such as but not limited to, TCP/IP, 3GPP, 3GPP2, LTE, IEEE 802.x, etc. This feature enables wireless operation of the system (100) without requiring any user to come in contact with the food dispensing kiosk (104), thereby preventing any health problems (considering the Covid situation).

Now, figures 1 A-1G illustrate each of the various one or more units of the food dispensing kiosk (104):

FIG. 1 A represents the collecting unit (106) of the meal dispenser unit, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The collecting unit (106) is adapted to store beverages, sauces, spreads, toppings and food items selected from vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan food in separate containers.

FIG. 1 B represents the conveyor unit (108) of the meal dispenser, which shows that it has the one or more sensors (120) to monitor its various factors, but not limited to, its temperature, speed etc. Further it can be seen that conveyor unit (108) includes a conveyor belt which is connected with and a motor and the drive. The motor and the drive enable the movement of the conveyor belt which in turn enables the dispensed cup to reach the dispensing unit to collect the food.

FIG. 1 C shows the dispensing unit (110) of the food dispensing kiosk (104), which also shows that multiple dispensing outlets (1104) & a cup dispensing unit (1102). The cup dispensing unit (1102) stores a plurality of cups and is connected with a conveyor belt of the conveyor unit (108). Further, it also shows that it has sensors to monitor various factors, but not limited to, the number of cups in the storage unit etc. Also, the plurality of cups are adapted to be dispensed over the conveyor belt and the conveyor belt is configured to move the dispensed cups to collect foods and further to the multiple dispensing outlets (1104). Additionally, the dispensing unit (110) may include one or more motors and valves to facilitate the above functionalities.

FIG 1 D shows the user interface (112) of the food dispensing kiosk (104). The user interface (112) is envisaged to include an input means and a display unit. The display unit is adapted to display information selected from food items available, selection menu, order number, order status, billing details and one or more instructions. The display unit may be, but not limited to Light-emitting diode display (LED), electroluminescent display (ELD), liquid crystal display (LCD), Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) & AMOLED display. Furthermore, the input means may be keyboard, mouse etc. envisaged to provide input capability to enable a user to enter his/her details such as selection of the food items/beverage to buy. In another embodiment, the user interface (112) may be a touch input based display, that integrates the input-output functionalities. Further, it shows that the user interface (112) is connected to the one or more sensors (120) and also displays information from the one or more sensors (120) etc. FIG 1 E shows the warming unit (114) of the food dispensing kiosk (104). The warming unit (114) is configured to warm the food items received therein. In that sense, the warming unit (114) is envisaged to include atleast a heater (electric/gas) and a heat exchanger. Also, the one or more sensors (120) such as temperature sensors, pressure sensors etc. are also connected with the warming unit (114) to assist in monitoring the food items received therein. The one or more units and the plurality of cups containing food items, are received in the warming unit (114) via the conveyor belt and accordingly the food items are kept at a desired temperature. The warming unit (114) may also be provided with dispensing valves and actuators/motors to facilitate the above functionalities.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the food dispensing kiosk (104) comprises a gravy unit (122) adapted to store gravy- based food items and is also disposed with the one or more sensors (120). FIG. 1 F shows the gravy unit (122) of the food dispensing kiosk (104). As can be seen form the figure, the entire gravy unit (122) is placed inside the warming unit (114) to keep the ingredients inside the unit warm. Further it shows that the gravy unit (122) has one or more sensors (120) to monitor and measure various factors but not limiting to temperature, level etc. It also shows that the gravy unit (122) dispenses food to the plurality of cups moved across the conveyor unit (108) and collectively to the collecting outlet.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the system (100) further comprises a payment module (116) adapted to facilitate payment for each order made at the food dispensing kiosk (104). It has been shown in Figure 1 G. As can eb seen from the figure 1G, the user may be enabled to pay through card or cash or virtual wallets or any payment methods involved. In that sense, the payment module (116) may include one or more of , but not limited to, a Point of Sales terminal, a cash register, receipt printer etc.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the food dispensing kiosk (104) comprises a cleaning unit (118) configured to clean the one or more units and other components of the system (100), the cleaning unit (118) having one or more cleaning cartridges, water jets connected with water supply, collection tray connected with a drain.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the present invention operates in the following manner:

The operation starts by receive an order of a meal and/or beverages from a user using the user interface (112) at the processing module (102) of the food dispensing kiosk (104). The order from the user includes, but not limited to, receiving one or more of names of the desired food items along with respective quantities, desired toppings, desired sauces, desired spreads, desired beverage and desired heating time for beverage. It will be understood that order is only confirmed after receiving the payment for the same. Then, the processing module (102) actuates the meal dispensing unit (110) to dispense the required plurality of cups over the conveyor belt and move plurality of cups to separate containers of the collecting unit (106) to collect the respective items as per the order. The food items are poured in the plurality of cups as per the order and the plurality of cups deliver the collected items separately to the respective dispensing outlets (1104).

As the present invention is provide with one or more sensors (120), therefore it performs live monitoring of the food items being stored and dispensed. The monitoring involves monitoring one or more parameters of the food items and beverages being dispensed/stored such as temperature, stored quantity, dispensed quantity, moisture, and condition using the one or more sensors (120) in each of the separate containers.

Additionally, the processing module (102) is adapted to analyse data received from sensors and plurality of orders received from a plurality of users on a daily basis for machine learning and predictions. The predictions include, but not limited to, predicting calculate the amount of food being served, predict the amount of food that is served over a period of time, automatically order the food items before getting out of stock and deliver fresh hot foods to the consumer when the food item is selected by the user in a short period of time.

Then, the information selected from food items available, selection menu, order number, order status, billing details and one or more instructions, is displayed on a display unit of the user interface (112) for the reference of the user.

In another embodiment, the process of ordering the food is made wireless, wherein the user is enabled to connect wirelessly to the system (100) via the communication network and order the food/beverages using his/her smartphone. In that scenario, multiple users can interact with the system (100), at the same time without having to wait for their turn or crowding the kiosks.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the delivery of food to the food dispensing kiosks (104) of the present invention, placed at different locations, is from a centralized kitchen or from any restaurant or any kitchen at a different location. The one or more sensor predicts the food item before consumption, which makes it easy for the supply chain from the centralized kitchen or any restaurant to deliver that food at the right time. Refill of food is done easily by just replacing the collecting unit (106) that holds that particular food. In an aspect, the collecting unit (106) contains one or more cartridges holding one or more type of food items. Automatic cleaning of the system (100) may also be scheduled at predetermined time intervals or fully automatic based on information received from the one or more sensors (120).

In accordance with an embodiment for the present invention, there may also be a provision for dispensing ketchups, salt, sugar and similar other add-ons at the side of the dispensing kiosk where the ingredients are dispensed by a click or a push of a button provided, which the user can reach and help themselves whenever required.

According to the invention, the food dispensing kiosk (104) has its own security system (100). Any function involving the kiosk like restocking, cleaning or opening the dispensing kiosk can be done only when the operator’s security code is entered before opening the dispenser for a particular function or only when the access of the function is granted by the operator when he is not present at the location. The access or monitoring of the dispenser and its operation can be done by the operator even when he is remote and not present at that location. In general, the word “module,” as used herein, refers to logic embodied in hardware or firmware, or to a collection of software instructions, written in a programming language, such as, for example, Java, C, or assembly. One or more software instructions in the modules may be embedded in firmware, such as an EPROM. It will be appreciated that modules may comprised connected logic units, such as gates and flip- flops, and may comprise programmable units, such as programmable gate arrays or processors. The modules described herein may be implemented as either software and/or hardware modules and may be stored in any type of computer-readable medium or other computer storage device.

Further, while one or more operations have been described as being performed by or otherwise related to certain modules, devices or entities, the operations may be performed by or otherwise related to any module, device or entity. As such, any function or operation that has been described as being performed by a module could alternatively be performed by a different server, by the cloud computing platform, or a combination thereof. It should be understood that the techniques of the present disclosure might be implemented using a variety of technologies. For example, the methods described herein may be implemented by a series of computer executable instructions residing on a suitable computer readable medium. Suitable computer readable media may include volatile (e.g., RAM) and/or non volatile (e.g., ROM, disk) memory, carrier waves and transmission media. Exemplary carrier waves may take the form of electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals conveying digital data steams along a local network or a publicly accessible network such as the Internet.

It should also be understood that, unless specifically stated otherwise as apparent from the following discussion, it is appreciated that throughout the description, discussions utilizing terms such as "controlling" or "obtaining" or "computing" or "storing" or "receiving" or "determining" or the like, refer to the action and processes of a computer system, or similar electronic computing device, that processes and transforms data represented as physical (electronic) quantities within the computer system's registers and memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the computer system memories or registers or other such information storage, transmission or display devices.

Various modifications to these embodiments are apparent to those skilled in the art from the description and the accompanying drawings. The principles associated with the various embodiments described herein may be applied to other embodiments. Therefore, the description is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown along with the accompanying drawings but is to be providing broadest scope of consistent with the principles and the novel and inventive features disclosed or suggested herein. Accordingly, the invention is anticipated to hold on to all other such alternatives, modifications, and variations that fall within the scope of the present invention and the appended claims.