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Friday, August 29, 2008

Fuel Filling Robots

Since the early 1990-ies automated fuelling a car has been a robotics application idea such as Swedish Autofill, Israelian FuelOmat, French OSCAR MK5, or German Robin. As the first company in the world, Trans Robotics showed a functional and operating unit for automatic refuelling for cars at a gas station in Stockholm, Sweden already in 1990.

Swedish Fuelmatics AB has now developed a new automatic refuelling system based on an exclusive world wide licence to a series of patents for automatic refuelling originating from Fuelmatic´s predecessor Autofill and Trans Robotics. Fuelmatics automativ Refueling System, ARS, is a refueling concept that allows the driver to remain in the car during the entire refueling process, thus providing a "Drive-Through fill up". The ARS has opened up for new and more efficient payment solutions based on cellphones as virtual terminal and thus can replace the customer terminal which is common at "Pay at the Pump" sites.

In the Netherlands The TankPitstop has recently opened the first automated fuel robot in the world to actually work in practice. The TankPitstop is an automated fuel robot which allows motorists to refuel and pay without actually doing anything themselves. The innovative robotic technology will make refuelling much easier. The system reduces the burden on the environment, enhances safety and, by fully automating the refuelling process, makes refuelling quicker and more comfortable.



The €75,000 car-fueling robot works 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, opens the car's flap, unscrews the gas tank cap, picks up the fuel nozzle, and directs it toward the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.

N. van Staveren BV and Rotec Engineering are the first companies in the world to have perfected this refuelling technology and to make it actually work in practice. After being extensively piloted on a wide variety of different cars, the TankPitstop will be put into operation at various petrol stations in the Netherlands in the second quarter of 2008.

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