FAPS proactively supports the spin-off of the technology-driven startup “ROBOTOP” and thus underlines its role as a startup chair at FAU. In cooperation with the FAU Startup Office and the Chair FAPS, the ROBOTOP team successfully won EXIST-funding. The three master graduates and founders Baris Erdönmez, Nicolas Falbesaner and Tony Phan, who very successfully completed their master theses at the chair FAPS in the previous research and development project ROBOTOP, will be funded. Another non-EXIST funded founder of ROBOTOP is Dr.-Ing. Eike Schäffer, who already led and drove the successful application and processing of the research and development project ROBOTOP as a research assistant at the FAPS chair since 2016. Between 2017 and 2020, he was responsible for the ROBOTOP research project as consortium leader, project manager and technical editor, in which he published numerous publications and supervised final theses. In March 2021, Dr.-Ing. Eike Schäffer very successfully completed his doctorate in the context of ROBOTOP, at FAU and the chair FAPS, respectively (publication of the dissertation). The one-year EXIST funding is provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the European Social Fund.
The chair supports the founding team during the entire time from conception and development to spin-off and provides infrastructure, partnerships, know-how and technical consulting in addition to a professional working environment.
With the manufacturer-neutral, open web platform “ROBOTOP”, the founding team wants to fundamentally revolutionize the largely intransparent and inefficient procurement processes of robot-based automation solutions. Under the motto “accelerate automation”, the time-, labor- and communication-intensive planning and configuration processes are to be shortened to a few clicks by solution-oriented Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools. In doing so, the ROBOTOP team pursues an innovative top-down solution approach based on high-quality 3D Best Practices, which does not require any prior knowledge of robotics or automation technology. This new approach to knowledge transfer is designed to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular to successfully identify their individual automation potential and accurately communicate their solution needs – a key factor in reducing the existing reluctance to invest among SMEs. For vendors and suppliers of robot-based automation solutions, ROBOTOP offers the opportunity to innovate their existing business model and complement their sales, marketing and training portfolio with VR, AR and 3D web content, creating a unique B2B e-commerce presence. This will result in lucrative business opportunities in the robotic automation industry, especially in the SME segment, which has hardly been tapped so far. For the high-wage business location Germany and the metropolitan region of Nuremberg, this also offers the opportunity to remain economically attractive in the long term in the face of international competition through automation technology and digitalization, as well as to establish B2B web platforms in Europe.
ROBOTOP is ideally integrated into the research sector Engineering Systems with focus on digital planning of automation solutions at FAPS and benefits from its many years of experience in the field of industrial planning and robotics. Therefore, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Franke and the director of the research sector Matthias Brossog take over the mentorship and support and look forward to working with the talented and dedicated founders.