I just recently saw this at my local Best Buy in Chelsea (23rd and 6th Avenue). It's a gigantic vending machine of media called CHLOE that can fetch you pre-owned video games, movies, and music at the touch of a button.
CHLOE takes up the entire front portion of the store where Best Buy used to sell budget items before turning it into their Apple computer display section. Enclosed in a glass case is CHLOE's yellow robotic arm and an impressive display of titles trapped in plastic jewel cases.
The arm is activated by using two big touchscreen displays in the Best Buy entrance. It's meant to be a quick and easy purchasing option for those who already know what they want. If you've used a vending machine before, it's very much the same thing. The fun part is watching the CHLOE arm take your input and grab the item in a matter of seconds. Feels like the future, I guess. If you're in the neighborhood, go check it out.
Look at this cutaway video (CGI) of a typical vending machine. The video explains how it sorts coins, detects fake money, and also uses infrared beams to make sure your food falls down each time you input an order. I had no idea infrared beams were there. Cool, I guess. This just makes me want to go to Japan -- land of vending machines!