[FUN] How to: Electronic Scouting 2/6 8:30pm EST

Electronic scouting programs take time but can be a very valuable resource to giving your team the edge in both match strategy and alliance selections. Tonight on FUN: Spotlight we are joined by Skye of FRC876 Thunder Robotics to go through the process of creating your own scouting program and the advantages it can bring to you team.

Join us at 8:30pm EST at twitch.tv/firstupdatesnow

Feel free to ask any questions here on live on the show by tagging @firstupdatesnow

So excited for this!!!

One thing that always seems to introduce a great deal of complexity to electronic scouting systems is the compiling of data from the 6+ tablets, phones, etc. in the stands and transferring it to some other device in the pits or elsewhere for use.

How have teams tackled this challenge elegantly in the past? I know there’s Bluetooth, broadband internet, flash drive, SD card, and hardwire connections as options. But what is a bullet proof, reasonably simple to implement solution to get the data collected from the source to the customer? What software is made or used for data transfer for a given solution?

Couple of questions for consideration during the show. These may be outside the scope of the designed presentation so if there is time at the end and they fit into the discussion topic:

  1. Even with electronic scouting available during a competition it seems possible to overload scouts with collecting extraneous data points. How does a team determine what scouting data on team performance is important to collect and what data can be ignored or at least has minimal impact?

  2. After having collected the scouting data, it’s possible the data doesn’t match the eye test. How does a team balance the qualitative on-field scouting data collected against quantitative data (EG eye-test, conversations with other teams, etc) when determining the final ranking order for alliance selection?

I’d be curious to hear how everyone on the show defines “electronic scouting.” At its broadest definition, just a computer running excel counts as “electronic,” right? Must any “electronic” system have devices (tablets, computers, phones) as both tools for data recording as well as data compilation?

As I see it most used in the FRC community, perhaps networked scouting would be a more appropriate term than electronic scouting.

Team 1678 Citrus Circuits has an extensive white paper on CD addressing these issues, including lessons learned from the evolution of our system.

Link for the lazy: https://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/3156?

Sure call it that if that feels more appropriate to you. We’ll be going in to a few options on tonight’s show.

I am working on a electronic scouting app for my team this year. I am creating a web interface to hold all of the data (this will be the “master” database), and I have created an Android app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.thomasross.frcscout, source: https://github.com/thomassross/FRCScout) for our scouters to easily sync their data to the master database and back.

The data will be synced over the internet. The master database is written in Python with Django. The Android app is written in Python.

Thank you to Skye for being a great guest and giving us an awesome walk through to how your team can start the process of electronic scouting.

Teams if you are considering doing more than just paper and notes, I would highly recommend that you take a look at this episode.


Yes, we’ve spent quite a bit of time reviewing these documents as a group. 1678’s scouting system is definitely something we want to emulate. However, the document mentions Firebase at a high level without many specifics as to how the data transfer between devices is achieved via Firebase. The Firebase online documentation has plenty of examples of how to share pictures, but not much on other types of data or information. Would you be able to share how this data transfer is successfully implemented?