How do you do scouting software?

I’m just curious to see what everyone else does. So how do you do it? Wirelessly using an Intranet router? Using PalmOS devices? Using laptops? Old school pen and paper?

Let me know how your team does their scouting software…

We made a DESS (Digitally Enhanced Scouting System) here is a link to

It work very well, it automatically make stats that you could never do by hand. All you need is a team of people in the crow taking scores, it is also adaptable to each years game. Hope you like it!

Our team uses lots of man power and paper to scout. We just had a meeting last night to decide the scouting team. Our plan has two phases:

Phase 1: We came up with about ten questions to ask other teams in order to give us an accurate picture of what their robot is supposed to do. We also are going to walk around the pits taking several pictures of everyone else’s robot.

Phase 2: After the work in the pits is done then we will move back up to the stands to watch all the matches. Each scouting team member will watch one robot during a match and record how it does on a form that we came up with last night. The data and pictures will then be entered into a computer in an excel or word document that we can come back an look at later on.

And that’s how Team 1625 scouts a regional.

Last year team 2217 from Kiryat Motzkin used a laptop for its scouting software.

This year one of the teams I’m in is going to use Palm.

We don’t have the software yet but we might have it on time if we find it vital to our team’s success.

We used to use laptops with an internet router connected to a laptop we converted into a web server for scouting but we had to arrive to the competition early every day to secure a spot in the stands to plug in the router. So now we made a java based scouting program for our laptops.

Team 836 uses an access database as the backend database. The database is updated each year with the new rules, new items to track (i.e., number of hurdles, laps completed, etc…). We also have a wireless router that we use to set up a wireless network for data entry. In addition, we have a IM style application that allows communication from the scouting team to the pit. New this year, we are setting up a front end web-based BI tool, to do reporting, data mining, predictive analysis, scorecards, etc… that will be accessible via the wireless network. We intend to broadcast the reporting capabilities to anyone at the tournament, who can then view the reports and team scorecards at any time. Let me know if you have any questions!

Best regards,


We will be using a Nintendo DS system for scouting here is one link

THis is how weve done it the past 3 years.
We used to use palms and such, but they were to problematic to us.
Paper and Pen with students who know what to look for i think is the best because you can run a piece of paper down to the field to give to the drive team so they know what to expect and they can keep for reference.

Paper and pen(cil), followed by loading the data into an Excel spreadsheet, and then analyzing to death.

Software scouting can do some powerful tricks that paper scouting just can’t, but really, your team has to decide what suits them. Plus, I’m not sure if those tricks have been implemented. I’m thinking specifically of a “match breakdown”, a single-page breakdown of any match, based on current info.

If you decide to make your own scouting software, like most teams, I recommend including a way to keep track of pictures of the bots. That and a “notes” section for experienced people could work wonders for planning, with a couple stats for ranking purposes…

Good old paper and pencil (mistakes may be made), followed by the Head Scout (me) collecting all the papers and trying to make some sense out of the completely incomprehensible writing contained therein. Also, I try to focus more on performance than on features-I don’t care whether it’s 2-wheel or 6-wheel drive, I care what its lap time is. What do you guys focus more on?

We are trying to figure this exact thing out. Any help at all on this?

Any chance of you guys sharing this entire system to other teams so someone could set it up at other regionals?

I would love to, but at this point, the software company that owns the BI tool that does all the reports, the web tools, etc… - who I work for - has not allowed me to share that part of the system. I guess it is a licensing issue for them. If you are at Trenton or Chesapeake, then I’d be happy to let you on to the network to use the tools. I am hoping that at some point my company will allow this technology to be used by other teams. Maybe by the 2009 season, I’ll have effectively broken them down and they will let others use the system! I would, however, be happy to share the access database that we developed, the paper and pencil scouting sheets - both pit sheets and match sheets, and also the IM system (which is available as a free download, I just have to find the link!) Let me know if you would like a copy of all this, and I’ll post it here as a zip file on CD or email it to you directly.

Best regards,


Could team 894 view the access database that you created. WE are trying to come up with something just like that. Thank you!
Matt Rybar

If you send me your email address, I’ll be happy to email you a copy of the database this weekend. I am on travel and need to get to my home computer to get the current copy of the database.

Best regards,


This year, we’re going Excel with Visual Basic modifications. Auto-sort and forms, mainly.

[email protected]

Thanks for you help!!!
Matt Rybar

You should have it now. Let me know if you have any questions. Any one else want a copy, let me know either via private message, or just post your email address.

One other thing, and I mentioned this in my earlier post - we also use a tool called DC++ (htpp://, or Direct Connect Network, to allow secure IM style messaging from the stands to the pits. It is nice to have a live electronic network communication, rather than “Sneaker-net” that we have used in the past!

Best regards,


This is a question for t-raum…Could you tell me what your ten questions are going to be. OUr team (Plaid Pillagers) are trying to figure out our scouting ideas and we need to figure it out soon. I think that we are goin got do the paper/pencil old school method, becuase it seems the easiest (and we are a rookie team). Any additional info on areas to focus on when scouting would be very helpful! thanks!