The engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory are working on improving the robotic aircraft ground refueling system. The automated system has successfully refilled an F-35 fighter jet’s simulated gas tank.
The developers of the robot have mentioned that the refueling system will reduce the requirement for the presence of humans near the aircraft during refueling process. Though upgrades have been frequently made over these years, still refueling is a manual process requiring humans to handle a supply hosepipe, its connection and disconnection. In addition, engines of the aircraft run continuously all through the refueling process, adding up to the danger.
The robot uses cameras and sensors to ascertain the panel door of the aircraft. The robot then opens the door, clasps it and a fuel nozzle is operated by a distinct arm. The refueling process is instigated by a human operator by pushing a button found on a control unit, from a remote place.