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Robotic Refueling Stations

Technologies in the Film

Image credit: Back to the Future Part II (1989)

While not technically existing, robotic technologies are advanced enough today to make robotic fueling stations possible if it wanted to be. In one scene of the movie, a car is refueled by a giant robotic arm as you approach, instead of having to pump it yourself or have a serviceman pump it for you. Robotics and robotic arm design has come such a far way that this could be very possible. Kuka robotics is a robotics company specializing in high degree-of-freedom (DOF) industrial robot arms capable of speed and precision [1]. It would be possible to program one of these arms to sit at a gas station and autonomously refuel your car as shown in the movie.


1: Kuka Robotics, “Products” (Accessed 4/16/2014)