How have you used an iPad for FRC/other STM reasons

I’m pitching to our academy director reasons why we should get an iPad. So does anyone have ways that they’ve used and iPad for FIRST Robotics or for other things Science, Technology, and Math related?

Tell them you want to learn how to develope IOS apps.
It’s a valuable vocational skill these days.

I know Team 11 developed a Bluetooth scouting app, but it wasn’t fully operational on IOS devices because of some quirks with the way they implement Bluetooth (they don’t implement Bluetooth as completely as Linux and even Linux doesn’t seem to be all that polished).

Out of curiosity why do you want an iPad? Asking for input from other teams on how you can justify purchasing one seems like you just want the tool, even if there is no job for it. Is an iPad the best thing to spend $400-800 on?

I personally use it for taking pictures of teams and jotting down notes on them.

I used Notability to store pictures and team numbers of all the teams I was judging for FLL this year. (in between teams coming in)

As for what needs would be better met with it than a standard laptop on a typical FRC team? Outside of scouting I can’t think of one. I bought mine because I tend to travel a lot and don’t want to lug around a pair of laptops (work and personal) so I take my work machine and my iPad. (Gotta keep work and personal separated) I am going to see how well it works for hooking into diagnostic data from the robot though. Unfortunately it won’t be much use in the pits due to the restrictions on wireless but it could be handy in our shop and at demos.

You want my recommendation? Spend the $600 on a pair of super shifters or something COTS you can use to a competitive advantage.

The interface makes it difficult to do really good drawing or modeling. The processor can’t handle a 3D cad program.
There are some cool physics apps I have used in my classroom (RippleTank, iCircuit, Cstr Physics, PhysicsPad <- sort of like Algodoo).

There are some great apps for Ipad.

Edrawings being able to show the CAD models
Excelade: used for video analysis, breakdown of mechanisms
Picasa: used to take and upload photographs
IMovie: used to edit short videos for weekly status updates during the build season
FRC Spyder:
FRC Tracker:
FRC Manual:
Google apps:

We use the built in camera/video to document the build cycle, competitions, meetings. Get a tripod mount and the Ipad becomes a great video camera that can upload the videos directly to Youtube/picasa/email.

So for the last 6 months I’ve been thinking for about getting an iPad or an Android. A couple of weeks ago at our team banquet the team presented me with a gift of an iPad. Super !!

So what do I do with it ? One of the things I do is pitch FIRST, teams in Georgia, and of course our team.

I’ve got my elevator pitch. I’m pretty decent at starting conversations, telling people about this really cool thing that is getting kids excited about education and changing the world.

Now I can go beyond the elevator pitch. I can whip out the iPad, and in 60 seconds show them some pictures, some video, some graphics. If a picture is worth a million words, then adding some video, graphics, and power points is billions of words.

The iPad, and Android are media delivery devices. Use it to your advantage, spread the word, get some support.

With a good pitch and media on the device, and some enthusiasm, you might could turn $ 600 into $ 6,000.

my 2 cents.
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Well, I am in charge of scouting for our team, so I would love to be able to fully utilize and iPad for scouting. We just took our students to their first iphone app development class, which they really enjoyed and are interested in.

For Rebound Rumble I would have loved students to be able to scout with an app on their iphone to simply press a button for 3 pt shot made, 3 pt shot missed, 2 pt shot made, 2 pt shot missed, solo balance, double balance, coopertition balance, etc. And then be able to pool that info from different phones into one source that is easy to search.

We scouted similarly this year, except for keeping track of every shot, just writing information down and putting it in Excel. We were glad we did when we knew what each robot could do when we played with/against them and especially glad when we were a captain picking our partners. So I guess my dream to scout just as much in the future, only finding a better way to do so.

All of these ideas in the previous posts are great. We use a tablet for many of the reasons above.

We use a tablet for a specific reason during competition. We use it to capture our robot competing in the match utilizing our teams media pass. This allows for our drivers some real feedback after the match. It can be reviewed instantly after the match. It was invaluable in analyzing our game strategy this season.

It is also nice to have one to review rules while in queuing and to keep up with the rankings.

I hope this helps!

If you look in the Google Play Store (IE the Android Store) you’ll find Team 11’s app: “Rebound Recorder”

There’s a PC server side to the application as well that the database on the phone can transact data with so the scouts can just hand off all their data to a central location.

That’s all student written. It’s based on SQLite, PostgreSQL, Android and Linux (it don’t know if works in Windows I’d have to ask).

Also there’s no reason you couldn’t control the robots with an iPad outside of competition. Somewhere on YouTube there’s a video of someone driving a full size car with a cRIO and some actuators using an iPhone (and yes those were U.S. FIRST parts they got from somewhere). Insert jokes about communications problems and robots crashing made from full size automobiles here.

We’ve used the iPad to control our shooter and aim assist.
Take a look at my uploaded photos.

I have an ipad for personal use but just like my computer i drag it to robotics with me everyday just like laptop. i have a folder for robotics in that folder i have frc spyder, the interactive game manual, and a few autodesk apps. I mainly used my ipad for writing notes in robotics and for quick drawings of different mechanical components.

Our team uses a mentor’s iPad for a few different things. Like some of you guys, we have a few apple IOS app developers, and we’re working on a scouting app. It also can come in handy while taking scouting notes in the pits (bigger screen, sometimes more reliable than pen and paper, not as bulky as a laptop) especially if it has 3G. We also used one for communicating with our team captain on the field during alliance selections to update him with which teams we wanted.

That being said, I don’t know that I would argue in favor of spending team resources on one. It’s been great having our mentor’s iPad to use, but it hasn’t been necessary. If you’re thinking of going the route of app development, it could be useful though. Just my two cents!