My team leader asked me today, if I’d be the leader of out scouting group when we go to Portland. I know why we need scouts, but I’m not really sure how to go about it. So I was wondering if anyone had some good tips and suggestions on how to do this?
We’re a rookie team so any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
After watching our kids get repeatedly nuked on this site for scouting I came up with a process that will allow you to scout without offending the denizens of Chiefdelphi.
Check for a website. It’s the easiest way to find a team.
Go to Chiefdelphi and check the member page. Click on the team number link. It will place the page in order of team number. Go down the page and find your team # that you are searching for. If you find team member click their profile and see if they have been to the page recently. If they haven’t don’t bother PMing them. If they have send them a PM.
Google the school or business and see if they have a website. Contact the administration via e-mail and see if you can obtain information to contact the team lead.
If they don’t have a website try to find an address and snail mail them a request.
If all those don’t work you’ll just have to wait until the regional to contact the team.
I’m not sure, but I believe that he means scouting at the competions. In that case, I would advise getting organised either with lots of papers or a laptop. Our team makes a fairly strait forward sheet asking questons about robots:
Team #, Team name, Drive system (2W-F, 2W-C, 2W-R, 4WD, Other), Brief description of manipulator, Autonomous strategy, Manual strategy,Robot capabilities, Actual robot performance, Points scored, Team record (W-L-T), Comments (miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t fit into a major category)
We then explane the sheet to the team, so people who haven’t been working with the drive system don’t sound stupid when asking questons. At the competion, the team splits up into pairs and interviews a number of teams, then we bring them back to one person in charge of stratagy. Then through the day, we watch the robots and write down notes, like if the robot actually works. Then we decide which one looks the best, and either beg for them to pick us, or pick them.
well you can check out on the white papers what our sheets look like. titled: Poor Man’s Scouting part 1
we basically have a system where those that aren’t in the pit scout at the competitions. if we have enough people we like to pair up a rookie and veteran at least have two people together. each get about 4/5 card and they scout the team and watch the matches to see how the team does during the initial competitions.
since you are a rookie team do encourage your students to ask other team questions. it’s okay we all know everyone is scouting and well many of us just love to talk about our bots and how they work.
If you are interested in the “Poor Man’s Scouting Sheet”, PM me and let me know. I have a MS Publisher file formatted to print these off on Avery 4x6 card stock. It works for us. It is a bit labor intensive since you need to have 6 people sitting in the stands scouting all of the matches. But it does work.
If you have a laptop and or PocketPC available to use HEATWAVE 312 has a strategy application that would allow you to easily insert and store data on a team with general observations. Check our post for more info.
If you are really motivated and want scouting to go really smoothly, here’s what you do:
Get a group of around 10 students, or number of teams at regional divided 3 or 4. Assign 3 or 4 teams to each of the students and give them a specific set of questions to ask and things to look for, like drive train, capping ability etc. Have your scouts go to the teams and ask these questions of the other teams. make sure they have the info by the time you need it. Also have them watch EVERY match that their teams are invovled in and take notes. Iterate to the scouters that the information is exteremely important to a good alliance pick.
Create a database on a computer or laptop using mysql or MS access to store all this info in on friday night, day before finals. Go over some top picks with scouters then and finalize your decision after prelims are over.
Take it from me, as part of a massive scouting crew trying to scout out 74 teams at Canadian regional last year, having a system at all makes all the difference.
Just remember that when you are scouting that you turn the information into something that your driveteam can actually use. Believe me, they will not be going through 80 notecards in order to find out if one bot has any traction. Especcially if they only have 7 minutes to plan their stratigy. You might be able to eliminate the paper quite a bit if you have something like the head scout collect and memorize all the scouting info that the team can gather, and then shadow the drive team with the note collection. And if any scouting information is needed, they shold know where to find it.
Just make sure that you turn the information into something the drive team can use or there’s not really a point to scouting. Have fun!
Easiest way to do that is to use the frc map info, or my team search. Though those only work if the website is entered in TIMS
Anyway - we enter data on paper scouting sheets, then compile it into a databasing program which allows us to sort the teams by certain things, etc. But since I doubt you’ll have that ability at nationals this year (and sorry - I don’t have the program - its only our laptops).
If you don’t have that I’d say watch as many matches as you can, write notes to yourself about which teams you like, etc. You can get a feel for it then come up with a list of teams you like…go down 25 or 26 teams deep and you should be good. :yikes: