The Fraunhofer Institute for Production and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart is situated adjacent to the Universität Stuttgart, on the outskirts of the city in a small suburban village called Vaihingen in the state of Baden‐Württemburg. Visitors entering the town by car, hoping to rely on members of the local population for directions to the university, may well find themselves, as I did, in completely the wrong place. Like many German higher education and research establishments, the Universität Stuttgart consists of a number of widely distributed sites. The local dialect is Schwäbisch (something akin to broad Geordie) which makes any form of meaningful conversation in my limited Hocht Deutsch almost impossible.
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