Designing a Scouting System

Here’s an example of what I mean by tracking instances:

ISR2 Final 2

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1983 Skunkworks Scouting Team. (mentor Weeks - since 2009)
1. Does your team have a scouting system?
We’ve had one since 2009 and its been modified every year as our scouting became more sophisticated. We even have a process for choosing alliance partners which now has been streamlined with statistical analysis techniques that we can apply in just over an hour (used to be 4+ hours).
2. Is there a reason not to have a scouting system?
Only when scouting is not an option … like if you end up on Einstein.
3. If you have a scouting system, what platform (android tablets, paper) do you use and why?
We use Google Nexus 7s (the team owns 8 - 6 for scouting, one for the drive team and a spare) running Kiosk (as our web browser because we get a full screen) and web apps made in HTML, CSS and Javascript. We run our server on a scout’s home Raspberry Pi in Linux with scripts running Python. Our current database is MySQL but we’ve used PostGreSQL in the past. We run PgAdmin4 to design the database. The kids (with MS systems) use Atom to design the web site (not public at the moment) and the web apps using GitHub for source control. We’ve used Tableau in the past for analysis (after all, we pioneered the use of it for First) but we’ve moved on. Our analysis is now a web app using free online packages to do more sophisticated analysis of data that Tableau is a level below. We also have a portable printer (and 2 portable power supplies) so we can print out charts if hardcopy is needed. Usually, the drive team pulls up the latest analysis (with a web app we’ve written) to get all the strategy we can provide (without ever coming to the stands or having somebody run a chart to them).
4. How do you manage your data?
Its on a database on the Raspberry Pi. Because its ours and there’s no limit to space, all the year’s data is there so we can look up any data from previous competitions if there are opponents or allies that have played before. In fact, our strategy app takes in that data. Its backed up after every competition.
5. How do you manage pit scouting?
We’ve ALWAYS had pit scouting. It doesn’t change much from year to year and lately, we’ve had the drive team do it. I often insist on pit scouting because: A. These are robot geeks and you all can share in the culture. &B. If you’ve pit scouted, and you got their names and you want to ally with them, you’ve met at least one of them and you can talk to that kid and find out if they’re willing to play defense or change their autonomous or whatever.
6. Do you think scouting with the students’ phones is a viable idea?
7. What is the biggest flaw or the thing you wished you could improve but can’t in your current scouting system?
Right off the bat, RETURN WIFI to competitions!! Our printer has WiFi. We don’t always get signal in these enclosed gyms (fortunately, our web apps cache all data). The only other thing is Statistics. I’m a high tech engineer (retired) but my statistics background is only goes so far. I’m always looking for a new metric (or better one) that provides some significance (like OPR, ELO, CCTWM, aWAR, etc.)


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