Prototype to Production with Geppetto: A Foodduck Story

November 7, 2018 | Sergey Olkhovsky

FOODDUCK is a Finnish innovation company and a pioneer of automatic dispensing systems in the line of schools, hotels and restaurants. They are in production with their first product, the FOODDUCK® Spread Dispenser and plan to lead this industry in circular economy, sustainability, and IoT integration.

The Product

The FOODDUCK® Spread Dispenser is an environmentally friendly, sustainable, cost-effective, and hygienic alternative to canteens and breadboards. Their primary customer groups are currently located in Northern Europe in hotels, restaurants and schools.

FOODDUCK is fully automatic and, if necessary, remote-controlled, enabling accurate data collection and automatically notifies headquarters when replacements are needed.

The advanced FOODDUCK technology makes it possible to efficiently recycle packaging and eliminate loss. In addition, the exact dose size brings significant savings to the usage of the spread.

The Challenge

For their first product release, Timo Sorsavirta, CEO of Foodduck Oy. and his team were searching for a supplier to support prototyping through to production. Gumstix and Geppetto looked to be a good fit for the first three FOODDUCK dispensers.




The Approach

Foodduck engineers choose the off-the-shelf Gumstix Pepper 43C and later used Geppetto CAD tool to customize it, designing and building a prototype for the dispensers that met their IoT design requirements including:

  • Single board computer running Linux
  • High-speed networking connectivity
  • Touch screen support
  • USB connectivity
  • Easy to Customize

The Gumstix Pepper 43C met the first four requirements, while Geppetto was able to provide easy customization of the board to the exact product specifications of the first board. This also made it simple to make modifications for the second board design requirements for the FOODDUCK Mobile.

The first board design includes:

Pepper 43C
LCD Display:
4.3” Flip-SIde Connector for Newhaven Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen
TI Sitara AM3354 (Slim Version)
Gigabit Ethernet
Boot MicroSD Card Slot for AM3354
Standard-A Jack and Micro-B Jack
5V/5A Pigtail regulator; Real Time Clock; 3.3V/1.5A and 1.8V/0.6A Regulators

“We were lucky to find Geppetto, when we started the development project of our first product. Its flexibility made it easy to tailor fit a design for our specific needs.”

– Timo Sorsavirta, CEO of FOODDUCK Oy

The Outcome

Geppetto offered a flexible solution that could easily be tailored to FOODDUCK’s specific needs. Foodduck has been pleased with the quality and the performance of the boards over the last 2 years. The only challenges they faced were created by the changing components on the other part of the FOODDUCK product which required a high-degree of customization at their end.

The Future

FOODDUCK is continuously developing and designing new products to drive the automation of the spread dispenser industry. Their products tick many boxes in the list of future market growth requirements: circular economy, sustainability, and Internet of Things. The primary customer groups for FOODDUCK are in Northern Europe hotels, restaurants and schools. FOODDUCK has received the patent for the product in the European Union and in the US – the US in particular is naturally an attractive next market to target.

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