Author Topic: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008  (Read 7733 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« on: December 10, 2008, 01:33:21 PM »
This thread is for who'd like to discuss my article concerning statistical trends for hobbyist robot builders:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_trends_2008.shtml

Offline izaktj

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 01:40:00 PM »
The male to female ratios are correct. In my class we are 13 and theres only one girl lol. But yeah not many girls on engineering careers. Only in "graphic design" but sometimes I doubt if it is really an engineering.

Offline dunk

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 04:52:06 PM »
hey John,
interesting reading your take on it.
i can't comment on anything Google related here i'm afraid but i'll share my other thoughts.

you comment at one point about the reliability of geographic data.
this is in fact one of the easiest pieces of information to gather.
source IP addresses are allocated by country so it is possible to tell fairly easily where the request has originated.
the exception to this is often China where technically proficient users often use a proxy outside China to evade the Great Fire Wall.


towards the end you speculate about the size of the robotics market. i think you are underestimating the value of the non English speaking markets.
Germany for example is full of electronics geeks.
there are lots of electronics websites in German including a fair few robotics ones.
any users searching in German will only rarely hit your English language site.

i know some Dutch and German guys who are into homebrew electronics of one description or another. i would imagine there are at least as many robot geeks in each of those countries as in the UK.
the same could be said for French, Spanish, etc.

now for a bit of extrapolating...
your statistics from India are expected. huge well educated population who will be entering search results in English.
you are probably only getting a tiny percentage of the share from the rest of Asia though.

think about Japan... huge economy. technologically advanced.
lots of robot geeks there = lots of web pages.
only rarely will you ever land on one as the result of a search as you are searching in English when the sites are in Japanese.
the same as Japanese people will rarely land on your site.

the same could be said for Korea, China, Taiwan, etc...
the Asia-Pac region has a huge number of internet users, very few of them using English.
http://www.ipligence.com/worldmap/

it is curious you get lots of Thai and Indonesian visitors on your site...
i'm out of ideas there.


dunk.

Offline nkck

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 08:12:49 PM »
hello

i am from India and could say about scenario here, I am not from any big metro of India, and almost seven years ago it was very painful to pursue hobby like robotics, the nearest shop which had gear motors and understand the language of my part list was almost 700km far, and almost no net connectivity. And also just 4~5 engineering colleges in my town,
But over years things change drastically, now 5~6 shops having some robotics inventory are in this town alone, and many many forums about robotic stuff  and same amount of online shops of Indian base. And almost 30+ engg. colleges, in this town, which i think is only thrust force of this trend. Now there are technical festivals in every institute and robotics is integral part of it and every one is google around about robot on there broadband connections. Ya many of them for first and last time experience but still things have changed a lot for better.

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 10:13:35 PM »
Dunk, I believe you confused my Google Trends data from my Google Analytics data. Analytics says that the majority of visitors to my site are from the US, India, UK, Canada, and Australia (in that order).

Google trends is where all of the other languages and countries come in. To clarify, I added this to the Analytics report:
Quote
Majority of visitors to my site are from the US, India, UK, Canada, and Australia.
This does not mean that these countries are the most dominating in robotics traffic.
For example, robot builders from some countries tend to isolate themselves from the
English hobbyist community (such as Japan and Thailand). Hobbyists from these countries participate
only in forums for their language, and only buy robot parts from their country. As evidence
to this, look at Japan. Japan has a huge fascination with robotics, has dozens of biped robotics competitions,
has a large wealthy population, but yet produces only 7% the traffic as India does to my site.


When I estimated market size I tried to include foreign language site traffic. However since I'm not well connected to the foreign market (other than Thailand since I live here), there is quite the possibility that I underestimated it. It might be better to say that my estimate is the market that concerns English language companies. In terms of sales of my Axon microcontroller, I can tell you that Europe and South America are significantly more likely to purchase parts from English language sites than say Asia or the Middle East.

Also, in reference to the age trends, I've just been informed that "the RC airplane industry is similarly bimodal". I was told that its a matter of disposable time and money available common to only teenagers and people over 40's.


edit: for those who are interested, this is the Industrial level trends report:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/print/7012
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 10:18:25 PM by Admin »

Offline RobotGrrl

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 06:40:18 AM »
Holy macaroni!

Only 17% are females? That's incredibly lonely :(

Thanks for these stats! :)

It would be interesting if you did a study on what makers classify their robot as: she/he/it  :D

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2008, 06:58:26 AM »
Quote
It would be interesting if you did a study on what makers classify their robot as: she/he/it

http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=2455.0

Offline Webbot

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 07:11:43 PM »
Interesting reading.

I think that maybe the age band stats are not just to do with disposable income but also:-
1 - The under 20s are keen to learn, have hobbies, etc
2 - The 30s - you are building a career and hobbies go to the wall
3 - The 40s - (not just more money but...) the mid-life crisis turns you back into a teenager !!
So probably applies to most 'hobby related' activities.

I think there is also an element of 'catch-up' when it comes to some of the Asian countries. As 'nkck' inferred:- they have been starved of info/resources over the years but the techno-boom has suddenly made stuff available. Sorry if that sounds condescending - not meant to be - but I've worked in India on/off over the last 15 years and the infra-structure is now leap-years ahead of what it was, which is great for everyone.

As for search terms: are your figures based on searches that end up in referring to SoR, or just Google searches generally? Maybe some of the older search words are now just too general: ie robot, microcontroller, sensor etc. let alone any other meanings that they may have. So presumably people are searching on more specific topics?  Would be interesting to see a graph of SoR memberships and why you think its accelerating (assuming it is!!). What attracts newbies - is it content rather than keywords - or is it coz your actively pushing SoR to search engines etc?

2,965 members as of today - who will be 3,000 !!

Perhaps we should have a sweepstake to name the date when there will be 5,000 members - winner takes all  ;)
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Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 07:44:52 PM »
I recently caught up with a friend who said she was thinking about going to an engineering school but "figured engineering was for boys" so she did accounting instead. That kind of made me sad a little bit because im sure some girls could kick the arses of some boys in the field lol. I hate when people pull the "its for boys" or something when it comes to this sort of thing. In my college courses that im taking right now as part of the Electrical Engineering program im part of, theres only 1 girl in the basic electronics class of about 13 actually...(izaktj, are you in my class O_o lol) and shes not part of the engineering program though :-\

I can only hope that you overlooked something, Admin. And if you are correct then we had better figure out a way to change that :) perhaps I should work with my town council members to get some robotics clubs or at least some shows going in this ol' cow town I live in... ~10,000 pop at least SOME have to be interested! lol
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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 05:34:31 AM »
Quote
I think there is also an element of 'catch-up' when it comes to some of the Asian countries. As 'nkck' inferred:- they have been starved of info/resources over the years but the techno-boom has suddenly made stuff available.
Yea I had a similar theory about the developing asian countries. Thailand, my current 'home', is about 10 years behind in technology. I feel like I went through a time machine sometimes . . . If google kept records back to 1998 we would probably see a similar pattern in US searches that we see today in foreign searches. But thats just my theory . . .

Quote
As for search terms: are your figures based on searches that end up in referring to SoR, or just Google searches generally?
Google searches in general. Then again its still probably not fair as Russians and Chinese don't typically don't use google . . . they got their own local search engines . . .

Quote
2,965 members as of today - who will be 3,000 !!
At one time it was like 3100 members . . . but then I filtered out all the spam bot accounts . . . it dropped like 300 members . . .

Quote
I recently caught up with a friend who said she was thinking about going to an engineering school but "figured engineering was for boys" so she did accounting instead. That kind of made me sad a little bit because im sure some girls could kick the arses of some boys in the field lol.
A lady MIT engineer I knew decided to quit engineering and become a lawyer, because get this, "lawyers are faster at helping people." I think I lot of guys join engineering just because it looks 'cool', which I guess doesn't work well with women . . .

Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: trends of robot hobbyists for 2008
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 04:29:52 PM »
Wow thats lame...

I do engineering because I like thinking things out and solving problems and building stuff.
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Google Trends is Proportional, not Absolute Numbers
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2008, 02:27:19 PM »
The author may already know this, but I don't see a correction here in the comments so I thought I put it out there for all other readers.  The Google Trends service gives the proportion of searches that are related to the keyword(s), not the absolute number.  So, basically what you're seeing is that people using the web are less likely to be searching for robotics stuff.  Or, to put a bracket on the estimate, the number of people searching for "robotics" is growing slower than the number of people searching for all things.

Given that the web started with geeks, but now grows through appeal to the masses, that makes a lot of sense to me.

 


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