Our team (5907) has developed a pit display for teams to use at competitions to better prepare you for your next match.
This is what it looks like:
The display provides a number of useful features including:
- What and when your next match is
- Which alliance and alliance station you have
- The last match that has occured at the event (for a rough time gauge beyond the predicted time from the blue alliance)
- EPA display for each of the teams in the match
- Win Prediction for the match
- An override menu (the gray arrow in the bottom left) that lets you override the current match and go on to your next team’s match. This is useful for when a match is e-stopped for a field fault and has to be rescheduled for later
- Automatic update every 30 seconds to pull more up-to-date EPA and predictions and to move on to the next match your team has
- Text will show if any of the teams you’re playing with or against have a match to play before they play with you so you can watch them if you’d like
- Color customization for the ribbon background and text to allow you to customize your display to your team’s colors!
The project is open-sourced here, and you can access the website from here.
You’ll need to provide your own API key from The Blue Alliance. NOTE: None of the data you enter in the settings page (API Key, team number and current event, even color scheme) is stored or sent back to us. We only require you enter your own API key because if and when this project becomes used by many teams, we would hit the API rate limits. Having a different key for each team running the app will avoid these issues.
Your Feedback is welcome and appreciated! Please let me now of any issues you experience or features you’d like to see added to the display!
I like my main recommendation, as a CSA, is an offline mode for events that don’t have wifi (or if it’s just bad) as hotspots are bad.
I would agree that this would be a good feature. However, it loses a lot of its value if it can’t get live updates (i.e. more accurate time predictions, last played match, score predictions, team photos, etc.) if you can’t access the internet. We’ll definitely think about how we could implement an offline mode and still have it be valuable, but my main recommendation would be to use wired or Bluetooth tethering to achieve the same functionality as a hotspot without the associated issues.
Maybe implement a way to base it off spreadsheet data, and have teams import the EPA data prior to the event? This wouldn’t really work at the start of the season though. Maybe just tethering occasionally to update the data, but run on what it has from the last time it was tethered in is the way to go.
Yeah, this app is neat and everything, but every time I see a pit or scouting application like this that requires network connectivity, I can’t help but think to myself…
So I’m curious if you know of or already use a solution to this. I just dont see how you could have a live updating scouting application for match planning that doesn’t use network connectivity?
It’s more a question of if you care how “real-time” it is or not. You could certainly use an app like this to get a “match preview” of an upcoming match even in an “offline mode”, the only thing that wouldn’t update would be the EPA stats and the actual “live” queuing. Effectively it would just replace match boards that some teams hang in their pits that list a teams upcoming matches and who they’re playing with/against.
Maybe a workaround for getting the EPA data to update would be to have a companion app that can run on a mobile device that caches updated data as network connectivity is available (so like if you walked outside of a venue for a minute and your phone connected it could pull the latest stats) and then pass them off to the pit-side component via Bluetooth or something.
In any case, as long as FIRST continues to ban WiFi (and not without good reason, to be fair) and use venues that act like proverbial Faraday cages for cell service, you’re going to have to consider what apps like this can do in “offline” situations. This is also one of the main reasons I’ve been hesitant for FIRST to adopt something like FRCqueue officially if it eliminates current offline solutions.
I’ve toyed around with the idea of getting a cell repeater and/or wired hotspot in our pit before to help address some of these kinds of problems, but for how high the cost is, there’s no guarantee any of those solutions will work at a given venue either, like how at worlds your could get signal in theory (I had full bars the entire time), but no one had any service because the towers themselves were overloaded, and no amount of cell repeaters or hotspots will help with that.
Having live connectivity is a big oof, but like as cbale2000 mentioned, just update the data from a mobile spreadsheet every once in a while will be a good compromise to get (almost) live updates on EPA. Cool pit idea though
It would probably have to be (omitting wired hotspots due to high costs) a spreadsheet, either directly, or frequently updated via USB tether, that would consist of a team/group of teams’s own scouting data. Basically, use the display as a second monitor for the scouting data entry device.
For all of the internet access concerns I see raised here, I understand where you guys are coming from, but I haven’t had issues with accessing the internet in the pits ever (FiM).
We will look into some sort of pseudo-offline solution (a really good idea I saw on here was having a mobile cache that communicates with the web app to pull data whenever it’s possible.
This is what will happen in general. If the app loses connection, as long as the page isn’t reloaded, it shouldn’t error out or anything. Obviously, it won’t know when a match has finished, but you could briefly tether again to update and then it would be fine until your next match
I’ve encountered cell connectivity issues regularly at FiM Midland District (very limited service throughout the building), FiM States (depends on where you are in the pits, even worse in the main gym) and a handful of other venues to lesser degrees. It often depends on how the venue was built (and how old it is). It also varies significantly by service provider, depending on where you’re at.
Occasionally we’ve been lucky and had a venue where the guest network stayed on in the pits (and wasn’t complete trash), but those tend to be few and far between, at least of the events I’ve been to.
Love it almost even as a pre-match strategy sheet
But as a drive coach…
I always wanna know the odds as drive coach. Using metrics will always be better than yoloing matches. Knowing exactly what your partners strengths are and what your opponents weaknesses are is when you really see how data can help you win matches.
UPDATE: URL Has changed: New Url
It would be nice if we could easily see if teams have a match before our match. Sometimes we do pre match strategy and find a team is in que for another match and then a tight turnaround. Also if it would tell us the match number they are on we can lookout for that match so we can scout the team.
That’s already a feature!
I read all the features you listed above looking for that feature before I posted and somehow I missed it.
it might be worded badly. The documentation is not entirely up to date with the current state of the app. I plan to repost or bump this topic again with updated info before the season and before week 1 comps so that everyone knows what the current state of everything is.