Tank-filling robot not the answer

For as long as I can remember I have harbored a completely irrational and wildly disproportionate distaste for refueling the family vehicles, so this story about a Dutch inventor's tank-filling robot was read with rapt if ultimately unfulfilled self-interest.

The robot - dubbed Tankpitstop - is supposedly ready for real-world trials over there, but I'm having a hard time seeing it at a station near us any time soon.

From Reuters:

Dutch inventors unveiled on Monday a 75,000 euro ($111,100) car-fuelling robot they say is the first of its kind, working by registering the car on arrival at the filling station and matching it to a database of fuel cap designs and fuel types.

A robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, carefully opens the car's flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.

Won't work if your tank is under lock and key, though.

The contraption sounds impressive, although it would seem the expense and risks - both to automobiles and of lawsuits - would be significant. And at that price, a return on investment may prove difficult.

And, alas, the Tankpitstop wouldn't even lift my personal burden, because it's not the actual pumping of the gas - or even the cost - that irritates me: It's the stopping and the time consumption.

Now if someone would only be willing be refuel my car the way heating oil is delivered to my house.

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