How Robotic Gas Pumps Work

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Author's Note: How Robotic Gas Pumps Work

I live in the great state of Oregon, and Corfitsen is right -- I'm fine with having anyone else, person or robot, pump my gas for me. A quick drive over the border into the state of Washington induces a mild panic. I usually plan ahead to fill my tank before driving out of state. I am not even kidding.

But people in other states profess to like the excuse to climb out of the car to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. (Some of those people live in sweltering states, and I can't believe they want to get out of the air conditioned car to stand around and sweat for five minutes.) Some people don't trust robots to do anything right. Some people insist on doing everything their own way. I think they'll have lots of time to adjust to the idea of a robot popping the fuel door open and filling up the tank.

But I'll miss my regular gas guy, the one with the crazy curly hair squished by a trucker cap -- the one who works the late shift and blasts 80s metal that can be heard from pump 1 to pump 8. I don't think a robot will wear a trucker cap.

Related Articles


  • Corfitsen, Sten. Personal interview conducted on Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Fuelmatics. (Feb. 12, 2014)
  • Husky Corporation. (Feb. 12, 2014)
  • Main, Douglas. "Robotic Gas Pumps Are Coming Soon." Popular Science. Jan. 24, 2014. (Feb. 12, 2014)
  • Saenz, Aaron. "Dutch Gas Station Has Robot Pumping Gasoline." Singularity Hub. Sept. 16, 2009. (Feb. 12, 2014)
  • Van Allen, Fox. "Back to the Future 2's Robotic Gas Station Arrives a Year Early." Jan. 25, 2014. (Feb. 14, 2014)