Human Players - Analyst

After watching week one, I have begun to wonder what exactly the analyst does on the field. Do they just stand there looking pretty?

Would love some imput from teams who have already competed!

Thanks,
Kevin
675 Robotics Syndicate

Well, I’m the (unofficial) analyst for my team (my team has two human players, I generally undertake the roll of analyst, while my partner acts as feeder), and I found a lot of coaches didn’t have anything on hand they wanted me to do.

Personally, I made time calls so coaches could focus on the game rather than the clock. I also made rough score calls (up 15, down 15, etc.). I helped our alliance partners align themselves when hanging tubes, kept an eye out for any stray tubes we may need, and surveyed traffic around the towers towards the end game.

All in all, I, personally, basically acted as a second set of eyes for the coaches on the alliance. While they focus on the robots in the match, I could focus on the robots and the field, since I did not have to worry about instructing the drivers on anything and just relaying observations to the coaches.

Generally, I found a lot of teams had no preference whether or not their human player was analyst, but found what I offered them during matches useful, especially the time calls from someone other than them and the score differences.

Just my experiences.

As my team’s primary driver, I found analysts to be generally useless. Reading out time is great, but they really need to shout it out in order for all members of the alliance to hear it.

This year I was the human player. I was the feeder all the matches except 1. When I was the analyst I did nothing. My coach and I agreed for me to just sit there and don’t cause peneltys. I wasn’t reeding time because the timers are right above the feeder stations this year (witch is reallllyyyy nice) and it would get annoying for our 2 drivers getting 2 sets of directions. But it is really fun hurling tubes down feild and if you are analyst you get the best veiw in the house.

I used our analyst as a second drive coach. I told our partners to tell him if they were dead or needed anything. I also had him give me reminders of the time so I could focus more on coaching than on when to deploy.

EDIT: Vector MycroftH of team 175 BUZZ reminded me from experience with our drive team that they are the perfect compliment for being the “A” in YMCA! :wink:

Our drive team tried to use the analyst as a time keeper as well. We found it is a lot easier on the drivers and the coaches to keep focused on the game when they don’t need to continuously look up for the time. This becomes especially crucial when it comes down to getting in position to deploy the mini bot.

As a coach, most of the time our alliance’s analyst didn’t do anything, and usually that was fine. We were mostly playing on tube-saturated fields, so the coaches did all the communication. I’ve found our HPs are usually pretty good about reading the field and keeping an eye on the coaches. This is usually faster and smoother, though if a coach is busy it’s helpful to have someone else that can repeat it if I need to move on.

If we’re exercising stricter tube control though (say the opposing alliance is all roller claws), it’s nice to be able to yell “we need a square!” and have someone handle the HP communication while my drivers finish off the triangle and I’m clearing our next path with another coach or checking the field/grids/clock.

Time calls can be really helpful, and I made it a habit to tell the analyst pre-match what time we were planning on heading for the Tower (if we did that match, which granted wasn’t often). My internal game clock’s gotten pretty well ingrained over the years though, so constant calls tend to just interrupt coach-coach or coach-driver communication.

As for score calls, in general I usually find looking at the grid more helpful, since it shows how close they are to another logo, etc. If we decided pre-match that our strategy (usually like how early to head for the minibot towers) depends on the peg score difference as x time, the analyst can definitely come in handy.

TL;DR: Call relaying, time updates, and score calculations can help. Know how the game plays out, be good at communication, and be ready to do what your alliance needs.

Mostly to restate what other people have said in an organized list, this is what it seems like is the role of the analyst:

Watching the clock and shouting out times
Checking to make sure drivers don’t incur penalties
Pointing out tubes that are at an odd angle for driver or coach to see
Hold signs up to direct feeder
Pass decisions on from teams in the alliance
Call out scores of yours or opposing teams
Make reassuring call-outs such as good job or nice hanging
Don’t get in the way of anybody
and finally they could try to extract as much data on the other teams as they remember because they have an extremely good view of the field.

Feel free to add to the list if i missed something

I’d just like to add that you should really ask your alliance, especially coaches and Feeders pre-match which of these they’d find helpful. If they say they don’t want help in a certain area, you’re probably best-off leaving it alone, even if you think they need it mid-match. Feeders have it hard enough isolated cross-field without trying to interpret something you didn’t discuss pre-match. Coaches also have a lot to watch, listen to, process and communicate, especially when something goes wrong, without trying to understand previously undiscussed help. (And drivers certainly have enough to process with just the one robot and one coach!)

As an example, I find most analysts know this–drivers usually have it intuitively and coaches tend to figure it out right quick–but I usually ask not to say anything that doesn’t need to be said. No score calls except as discussed for strategy, usually none at all if we can see the screen, no time until when we asked for the minibot race, no robot-centric stuff ( pickup, alignment), no other call-outs.

I have not made an actual count of this situation, but I have seen quite a few pictures from the early competition like this. they show the drive team and coach all looking up, presumably at an attempt to hang a tube. This is a waste of eye-power. There must be something else important going on on the field. At the very least the coach should be watching traffic or scouting for the next tube.

I mention this here in analyst discussion to offer something else they could do - remind players and coaches to play, not watch, the game.

I have seen many teams don’t understand the role of the analyst at all and have even sent the extra human player away or just let them wander around aimless around the field. If nothing else teams should be making sure they stay in the driver station area and staying out of the way. They may not have any assignment to help but teams should at least be making sure that unassigned human players are not doing anything to hurt teams chances of winning either.

I’ve seen a lot of analysts doing a whole lot of nothing, there has to be a way to make use of this extra set of eyes, legs, ears and mouth. I think the team that can train an analyst to fulfill this unknown role of sorts is going to benefit from better robot to robot communication and is going to step up the alliance’s game play.