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The official job description for the new W3 Stiftung professorship at Offenburg University is “professor of cobotics and sociotechnological systems.” A candidate is expected to be hired to fill the position, provided by the faculty of mechanical engineering and process technology, by the 2020 summer semester; the start-up costs for the first five years of the position (which is to have a salary of 1.2 million euros in total) will be provided by the 13 member companies of the Economic Association of Industrial Companies in Baden (Wirtschaftsverbands industrieller Unternehmen Baden – wvib) and the Gisela and Erwin Sick Foundation .

The position, which is interdisciplinary by design, is intended not only to result in new, value-creating solutions for the wide range of industrial fields seeking collaborative robotic technology, but also to give would-be engineers the chance to learn specific technical skills through classes. The close collaboration with medium-sized industrial companies in southern Germany has already proven fruitful: Recently, Offenburg University received financial support from tool manufacturer Wiha to power development of the autonomous-driving robotic system FLITZMO .