View Full Version : Proof Of Concept for Web-Based Scouting System

12-24-2011, 09:24 AM
Hi All,

Here is a scouting system I have been working on for a while now. It is nowhere near as full-featured as some more developed scouting systems I've seen, but I think it has a few benefits over the traditional excel-based system:

- It is served from one central laptop, to which all the ancillary devices connect.
- It can be accessed from any-web enabled device with bluetooth capability (smartphones, iPods, other laptops)
- It can sync with a central server after the competition to back up data if teams wish.
- A future version will allow devices to store data locally and send it later in the event that the central laptop cannot be reached. It will also allow a redundant database copy on a USB Flash or External HD.
- The aforementioned backup can be easily shared (if a team desires) with the rest of the FIRST community to improve team data quality.

However, because of FIRST rules prohibiting Wi-Fi use at competitions, devices must connect either via Ethernet or Internet over Bluetooth to the central laptop.

Here is the short link:

The interface hasn't been polished at all, so to get to the scouting (front-end) interface, you click "Scouting Interface"
To get to the back-end, you click "Graph", select the column of data you want to plot, and then type in a comma-separated list of the teams you wish to graph.

Please feel free to play around with the test implementation, and give me your comments. Again, keep in mind this is not fully developed. If the community thinks this concept is worth pursuing, I will continue to develop it so it has similar capabilities to Excel scouting systems.



Sean Raia
12-24-2011, 09:54 AM
Obviously this is a very early version of your system, but the following things i feel can be improved on:

- On the submit data form, have a link to the report page.

- Get rid of those checkbox's for logos. That just seems like lazy programming to me, as you can easily check if there is a full logo in that row with code.

- You don't report errors if incorrect data is entered in a field. (ex. "p" in the team # field.) Don't let incorrect data pass as correct.

- It would be beneficial if you had the option to narrow down to viewing one teams data on the scouting reports sheet.

- Get rid of the page between the graphs and the report page. As you can simply enter the data on the same page as the graph.

Enjoy the constructive criticism, you can get this looking really sharp.

12-24-2011, 09:59 AM
Heh, I like it. I'm a little confused about how to say an ubertube and a logo piece was hung on the same peg, and it probably needs a few extra rules so that someone can't just put obviously false information, and can't "forget" important info. (It wasn't me who said 694 scored 1000 points, honest :rolleyes:)

Also your graph has a lot of silly options, such as graphing team number vs. team. Wow! Can you drop those and add some more of the table sorting options?

Jessi Kaestle
12-24-2011, 02:47 PM
I think this is a great start but as some people have already pointed out, it still has some flaws to work out. These are some of the things I noticed.

If you have a "destroy" button, you need to lock out who can use it.
You have no space of minibots or penalties
Instead of having a space for score, have the program determine the score
Penalties are almost as important than scoring ability, there needs to be some sort of check box for them
I have found that leaving room for comments just leads to things like "They have a hot driver, pick this team"

I can't wait to see your second attempt.

12-25-2011, 10:00 PM
You had better hope Google doesn't crawl your website otherwise you will lose your entire database when it visits each of the destroy links.

12-25-2011, 10:42 PM
Bluetooth is really cool, when you need your phone to connect to a device on your head from your pocket. Not so great when you running around a arena. Your page needs an internet connection to work, and while that is fantastic at home, one thing I can guarentee you is not having five bluetooth conncetions running continually in the stands. Try the $_GET[] and $_POST[] methods in PHP. I would use get and just have an address that can be saved longer and longer with the submit script breaking it into matches. This way your scouters on their smart phones can loose their internet, and still be able to save the match data their saving to be submited when the connection returns. Not a good way to save comments,(POST lets you send more data)but if your system goes down you have a bunch of emails of long HTML address bounced your way at the end of the day to be turned into graphable data supper easily.

01-02-2012, 12:55 PM
Thank you all for all your feedback! If I don't specifically address your points below, I will be doing my best to implement them in the next couple weeks (we'll see how that works out after kickoff). I wanted to specifically address the following points:

To mesamb1:
Unless I'm mistaken, Class 1 Bluetooth devices can communicate up to 100 ft, which seems pretty reasonable if everyone is scouting the same match. As I mentioned in my original post, I'm working on a local cache to solve the connectivity problem entirely. Is this correct?

To Chris27:
Google won't crawl my site because the robots.txt prevents all search engines from doing that. Also, if you try clicking on the Destroy link, it asks you to confirm your action, which I don't believe the googlebot can do.

To Ninja_Bait:
I already fixed the problems with the graph. Will work on your other comments. Thanks.

To everyone else, I will do my best to address your comments. I will try to add an interface for this year's game once I know more.