FHWS has been active in the field of robotics for many years. Robotics lectures are already an integral component of the curriculum today in a series of degree programmes.
FHWS also sets standards in research. Thanks to its many years of experience and well equipped laboratories, FHWS is a welcome and respected partner for robotics projects of all kinds.
In the strategic development of FHWS, robotics should not be considered a standalone but as a gearwheel that is intermeshed with other fields of expertise. The topic of Artificial Intelligence in particular has to be named here. Artificial intelligence offers the possibility to equip robots with cognitive skills. As a result robots can act autonomously, respond flexibly to their environment and cannot only take over tasks from humans, but in the long term also make decisions.
To tap into the momentous potential of this combination of robotics and AI for research and teaching, FHWS is building competence centres in two fields over the next few years. The Centre Robotics (CERI) is being built in Schweinfurt and the Centre Artificial Intelligence (CAIRO) in Würzburg. Both competence centres will cooperate closely after their completion and thus create ideal prerequisites for developing “intelligent robots”.
The planning for construction of the centre for robotics is already under way. Completion is planned for the year 2026. The building will include lecture halls, laboratories and offices in a space of several thousand square metres and unite research and teaching under one roof. In addition, the building will offer space for technology transfer and help with bringing fresh robotics knowledge from research into companies. This guiding principle will also find a prominent expression in the architecture of the centre.
The sustained development of the topic of robotics is not limited solely to FHWS but also includes the surrounding region. The goal is to make Schweinfurt and the entire region of Lower Franconia the Silicon Valley of robotics.
The prerequisites could not be better. As a European high tech region, Lower Franconia already has a tight network of suppliers and customers for robotics and robotics-related technologies. Meaning that Lower Franconia offers an ideal breeding ground for young robotics companies. The most important resource for the success of these companies is supplied by FHWS in form of graduates of the robotics degree programme. And if the internal expertise or infrastructural capacities of the companies should not be enough, they can seek support from the Centre Robotics.