We have always known that McDonald’s soft service (you can’t really call it ice cream) machines are known for being picky.Even A website that tracks the location of machine damage And, obviously, it is usually about 10% or more of it at any given time.But when we saw an article about The judge issues a restraining order, We know there must be more in this story. It turns out that these $18,000 soft service machines are at the core of what we are very interested in: when do you have your own technology?
Apparently there are about 13,000 of these machines, which are considered high-tech miracles, capable of producing soft services and milkshakes at the same time. However, their maintenance costs are also high. Cleaning the machine every two weeks (try not to think about that) involves a thorough dismantling. To make matters worse, if there are any failures, you need a factory-authorized service person.
At its core is a secret menu that requires a set of undisclosed keys to enter.Of course, we’ve seen it before, and obviously, it’s not a secret, because a quick search found Exact order required In the manufacturer’s (Taylor) service manual.However, a third-party company has developed a Cage It intercepts data from within the Taylor machine and presents it on WiFi, including all secret service data. Their website proudly declares that this is a Raspberry Pi, you can install it inside the machine and connect it to the internal bus in some way to monitor the machine’s operation. This add-on is designed to make it easier to track the operation of the machine, including keeping it in normal working condition.
Readers of Hackaday will not find the whole concept strange. We have been doing this kind of thing, and the only reason we may not see this on the prompt line is the surprising lack of soft service machines in the hacker space. But we have seen the same idea on washing machines and many other devices.
The problem here is that Taylor and McDonald’s are dissatisfied with the restaurant operators using the device.Kytch, who made the add-on box, was dissatisfied with Taylor’s attempt to obtain their device, which violated the Kytch license agreement with the user, and Filed a lawsuit as early as May (PDF). Therefore, it seems that there are many lawyers involved.
Ironically, the founder of Kytch first fixed the Taylor machine to solve the problem of integrating the machine with their frozen yogurt robot, an effort supported by Taylor. They did refuse to share their machine’s internal agreement with them, but worked with the team in other ways and knew clearly that they were considering a closer integration between the two machines.
We don’t know how the court will resolve this issue in the end. On the one hand, we very much hope to be able to hack the equipment you own, especially those that are worth $18,000, are frequently damaged (resulting in loss of sales) and require an exclusive service contract.
On the other hand, it is easy to see that McDonald’s wants to ensure that the quality of frozen food is consistent and avoid any possible health hazards to the public. after all, The bad ice cream was dead before. This is especially true for these machines.
Remember, did I mention that they must be cleaned every two weeks? Ordinary ice cream machines need to be cleaned at least every few days if not every day. The McDonald’s machine has a special 4-hour heating cycle, which can pasteurize the contents of the machine, so it does not need to be cleaned frequently. The machine heats and then refreezes everything, which may kill any bacteria that start to grow in the mixture. This can save a lot of time, you can watch someone cleaning up ordinary machines in the video below.
Again, there are many dangerous things out there, and only authorizing one company to handle these things is not the answer. Electricity and natural gas are dangerous, but you don’t have to work for a utility company to get the job done. You may need a license to prove that you understand what to do, but this is a different proposition.
I think the logical thing is to play “hypothesis”. What if you use the secret menu function to repair the machine yourself? After all, you have to rely on some fast food workers to clean the machine. Does this increase the risk? Or it even allows you to do anything different? After all, working in a car can be dangerous, but no one would think that a barcode reader is a safety hazard-it is just information.
E.g, Connected story According to the report, a Kytch user discovered that an employee had added too many consumables to the machine, which caused the cleaning cycle to fail. Obviously, this information cannot be obtained through traditional means, and it does not seem to be too harmful.
The restraining order involved Taylor’s idea of buying Kytch machines for reverse engineering. They tried to buy just one, but when that didn’t work, they allegedly took one from a machine sent for repair. To be honest, it’s hard to imagine Taylor can’t figure out how the device works without seeing it in person. After all, they know which buses they exposed and what is on them. Building a web interface on the Raspberry Pi is not a top secret technology.
On the one hand, we applaud people who want to hack machines and make them better, more reliable or easier to repair. We don’t like companies locking things up and holding you hostage in order to maintain the contract. However, we also believe that suing a company for obtaining copies of products that interface with them is not a good move. I am not a lawyer, but it seems that restricting trade or defamation would be a better attack, at least from the point of view of merit.
what do you think? Except, of course, you can definitely go for a milkshake.