Very small teams

Does anyone know of any extremely small teams (past or present), especially any that were not big enough to field a complete drive team? Maybe a group of friends, or a very small school, or similar. If you were on such a team, what was your experience like?

Not my team but 6901, a rookie team from Frisco Texas, had very few members. While they were able to have a drive team, they had very few other members.

I forget who it was, but iirc there was a team on Einstein this year with 8 members: 5 person drive team, 1 pit crew, 1 scout and 1 Chairman’s.

My understanding was there was a father-son team in 2001 or so. Don’t know the number.

In FTC, Gluten Free (11115) is reportedly two kids, and they hustled their way to a world high score this year in the Ochoa finals.

Somewhere on here is a story about a team that competed with only one student. I forget where it is but if someone can find it and link it, it is super worth a read.

Wasn’t there one in Alberta two or three years back with only one student at the competition, and another similar one in Ontario about a year later?

In 2016 and 17 a team consisted of one student- 5859.

Can’t say I know much about him other than mostly secondhand- he is fairly active on Discord if I recall.

Last year (2017) my team had 9 members, 4 drive team (plus mentor), myself as pitcrew, then a few scouters. We were captains on Tesla and made it to Einsteins.

You’re probably thinking of 4499.

His only “mentors” were his parents as well – he did everything on his own, from funding the team to making his (incredibly satisfying) bumpers.

I can’t recall the year…but at VCU one year there was a team with one student and one mentor/teacher.

Yup. The Highlanders are really awesome, they lost a lot of seniors and students and ended up with a pretty small team this year. In our rookie year (2014) we qualified for champs via Rookie Allstar and they gave us a pretty large amount of money so we could actually go. We were extremely happy that they made Einstein this year!

7179 has 3 members and a mentor

My team exactly. 7093 just completed our rookie year with 5 members and one mentor. Needless to say, it was an experience that I hope we never have to repeat. None of our members had any robotics or programming or mechanical experience, and our mentor was a biochemist by trade. Everyone did some of everything, and sometimes our entire progress on the robot would be halted by something trivial like the radio not flashing, which required most of the team to fix and diagnose.

Specialization is nearly impossible on a team the size of a drive team, which can really impede the team’s ability to succeed. All five members were extremely committed, which allowed us to get something done.

We have learned alot from our experiences and many students at our school have shown interest in robotics, so we hopefully won’t have to operate with only five students again.

TL;DR: It’s possible, but hard

One of our Central MN Hub teams, FRC 6175 (Mystery Machine) has consistently had around 5 members. Their first year they were senior heavy and won the Lake Superior Regional. They took a step back in year two as they were rebuilding. This year they had 5 members (I think two 8th graders as well) and won the Great Northern Regional.

In a Hub of 16 teams, they have consistently been the smallest - yet have the most Regional Wins with 2! They are a very contagious team to be around.

Team 4466!

In 2013, our rookie year, we started with 3 students. When we got to the DC Regional only my son was left as the other 2 quit the week before. We were fortunate enough to get help from 1885 and even ended up at the Championship in St. Louis!

Since then we have only had 3 at a time on the team. This year we were on the winning alliance at the Southwest Va District event and went to Championship again (in Detroit this time)

And they picked Mechanical Paradox Cubed (3 or 4 kids) and Lanbros (1 guy), to make quite possibly the smallest division winning alliance in FTC history.

If I remember correctly back in 2004 at the Buckeye Regional. Team 1308 - Wildcats consisted of 1 student. Not sure how many adults were there with him. But 1308 asked other teams to allow students from their team be the human player for them. Teams were more than happy to do so. I believe they got the Judges Award for attempting to compete with one student.

Yep that was us! We had a huge turnover this year to multiple reasons (moving, changing interest, health reasons)…but we didn’t let that stop us. We had 6 team members (5 that attended World Championship), and a HUGE alumni support! Our team worked with our alumni and mentors to build within our means, but learn machining, CAD, electrical design and programming. We focused on doing the best we could…and turned to our alumni/mentors for support/guidance.

We were so happy to help 4944 to get to Champs in 2014! You guys are amazing and have a great program. We are so happy to see how strong your program has become! Its tough to compete against you in divisional finals, but we know you guys will be going to great places too!

We could have never imagined that we would be on Einstein. Thanks to our alliance captain 4911 and 2910 and 5006 for an amazing alliance! What an amazing championship!

Now, we are focusing on recruiting! If anyone is in Northern Colorado look us up and check out our amazing shop and team! We hope to field a stronger and deeper team for next year, but we know that with a few team members amazing things can happen…

I mentored a team with 3ish student members this season. Coming from a really well off team I didn’t really know what to expect but I was surprised on what I found. I think the students seemed to be more inspired by interacting with mentors and building a robot than to going to competition or caring about how good some other robot is. One of the main reasons we got a working robot this year was because almost all of the mentors(5ish) were alumni so we knew what to do, unlike last year where they had 1 new mentor that didn’t know what to do so the robot barely moved. We are very thankful for the help that 302 provided us, not just at the competition but also during build season. The team got picked for the first time ever this season and I couldn’t be more proud of the students. I wish more privileged teams/mentors would go out and find these types of teams because they usually don’t know how to get help.