A group of Dutch inventors have taken the wraps off their new car-fueling robot Tankpitstop, an automated fuel robot which allows motorists to refuel and pay without actually doing anything themselves and make refuelling much easier. The inventors admit that the technology isn’t an entirely new idea, and they give credit for the inspiration to the robots used for milking cows.
The customer’s car gets a radio frequency identification chip that contains all the necessary information, hidden in a sticker on the inside of the windshield.
As the car approaches, TankPitstop shows an instruction screen. Once the car has stopped at the right spot, the sliding wall that safely stores the robot is raised. The car is identified. So the robot knows exactly where the fuel-filler cap is.
The machine matches your fuel cap design with those in a database and your car’s fuel type, and then a robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, opens the car’s flap, unscrews , much as a human arm would, and as efficiently. It costs over $110,000 as is the first car-fueling robot.
Before undertaking any action, the robot verifies the position of the car. The car could possibly have moved due to a faulty handbrake, and this will cause the robot to shut down. The robot will also retreat if the sensor registers movement close by, like playing children for instance. The customer can also personally stop the automatic fuelling process by pressing the red button.