Wish you didn't have to get out of your car to fill it up? Well, you could move to New Jersey, where gas attendants are still commonplace. Or you could head over to the Netherlands, where they use robots. The Tankpitstop robotic arm cost its Dutch inventors $111,100, and it uses an array of sensors and a car database to accurately hone in and open a car's gas flap, unscrew its cap and fill its tank with gas.
"I was on a farm and I saw a robotic arm milking a cow," Nico van Staveren, the developer of the Tankpitstop arm said, "If a robot can do that then why can't it fill a car tank, I thought. Drivers needn't get dirty hands or smell of petrol again."
Nico van Staveren hopes to have his arm working at more gas stations around the Netherlands soon. The arm is still a bit picky: it won't work on gas tanks that need a key for access, and only tested cars are guaranteed to escape scratches.