Projected FRC Size

Looking through the request of the FRC Control System I saw this:

FIRST needs a partner that will develop and support a system per the team populations expected below:
2015: 3,600
2016: 4,000
2017: 4,700
2018: 5,400
2019: 6,200

Now I understand they want to cover their base in case of a population boom but realistically speaking do you see this as overly optimistic?

I am not entirely sure it is looking at just the final year 2019: 6,200 teams which is 7 years from now, is 2.68 times the number of active teams this year at 2,343. If we look back to 7 years ago there was 991 active teams meaning we have 2.38 times the number of active teams.

So it is entirely possible they might be right, but what is Delphi’s opinion?

From Team358’s website:

If you extrapolate the growth, the estimates are still pretty optimistic. The recovery of the US economy would certainly help. But at some point the growth will surely slow down, won’t it?

An interesting thought to ponder…

Where on this curve do you think the adoption of FRC by high schools would fall?

Just thinking of that type of growth poses some serious questions for FIRST and the community:

  • How do we keep the KoP cost manageable, when we hit the limit on how much a supplier is willing to donate for free?
  • How do we find enough mentors for all of those teams?
  • How do we find enough volunteers to run all of the new regionals this implies?
  • How do we handle attendance numbers at Championships?
    (and probably other questions I haven’t thought of yet)

Obviously, we all want to see this program grow as much as possible… but rapid growth quickly turns into a logistical nightmare. How do we avoid sacrificing the current quality of the student experience in order to gain quantity?

It’s going to take a culture change.
When schools treat robotics as they do football, basketball, baseball, band - all these issues will resolve.

  1. Regional distributions and suppliers for KoP will likely appear
  2. How do we find enough coaches for sports? Once a sport is pervasive in society, coaches spontaneously appear.
  3. Same as #2
  4. If the concept of world champions persists, they’ll come from district/regional/state tournaments.

Those team estimates quoted each must include ~100 extra for HQ testing, field spare parts, damage, just-in-case an unexpectedly large number of rookies signup one year, etc.
So there aren’t as many teams expected as all that.

Here’s an additional estimate from FIRST:

Part of it was that these numbers stem from a reduced cost of entry barrier afforded by more district models opening up in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, as listed in the FRC 5-year plan posted a couple weeks ago.

I don’t think its unreasonable growth.

They really need to plan for worse case scenarios.

They can’t tell a vendor that they will need 4800 units donated and then come back and say “oops we under estimated by 25%, you don’t mind giving away another million dollars, right?”

“best case”? :smiley: