Tankpitstop Automatically Fills ‘er Up

by Mark R


Anyone remember that scene in Back to the Future II when Marty looks at a gas station and sees a robot pump gas into a car? He was apparently in the year 2015, but we have this technology this year.

A few Dutch inventors have created the Tankpitstop, a device that uses multiple sensors and a database of cars to pump the gas while the human sits in the car and waits. This device costs $111,100, and can somehow open the gas flap, unscrew the cap, and then fill the tank.

Apparently, the inspiration came from when developer Nico van Staveren saw a robotic arm milking a cow. I guess he figured that if a robot can milk a cow, it can pump the gas.

I really think that this technology needs to catch on soon, because I am too lazy to pump gas. So much so, I wait until the needles past “E” until I finally give in and go into a gas station.

I think there are a lot of bugs to get out. The Tankpitstop will not work on gas tanks that require a key for entry, for example. I wonder how it knows how to unscrew the gas cap, but I hope it always remembers to screw it back on.

So, it looks like this technology is here before Back to the Future II’s 2015 deadline. With any luck, every gas station will have the Tankpitstop by that year.


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