Innovators 3138 IPA Scouting System


I wanted to share our scouting system and propose a joint effort at Worlds. We currently do all electronic scouting and real-time data delivery to our drive team. We predict very reliably and have used the data to alter the predicted outcome many times by alterinig our strategy. Our goal is to work with other teams and scout all 4 divisions, sharing the results with anyone that wants them.

I’d love to hear feedback and if you are interested in working with us at worlds.

If you’d like to see the drive team dashboard from Crossroads feel free to check out the URL. The password is: cr

Rob Miller
Team Scouting Mentor
Innovators Robotics - 3138

Innovators Predictive Strategic Scouting System.pdf (934 KB)

Innovators Predictive Strategic Scouting System.pdf (934 KB)

A side note, I’m Josh Klar from 3138 and worked on most of the interface components of this system. I’m available for questions as well if any arise.

Great Idea! One I’m sure many have thought about.

The execution is great - I haven’t played around with it yet, however, I see one problem that I think most teams will face.


I don’t think many teams will have access to a wireless signal (Especially Canadian teams where At&T charges you an arm and a leg for every byte).

Unless there is free wireless this year?

EDIT: I misinterpreted the intention. I thought the website was a scouting input system. It’s a scouting output system…

3138 has a related scouting input system providing the data that feeds this dashboard.

Yes Internet access has historically been an issue for us as we’ll. We are currently scouting with 4g enabled tablets with several fall back options including hard cabled network to on premise server. I’d love to get FIRST on board with scouting and dedicated WiFi.

Please feel free to look at the “input” side as well. It was written and mostly tested with Chrome browser as IE doesn’t fully support HTML 5 yet.

Http:// password: test

Wow! It’s always interesting to see how other people go about scouting. They range from a very minimal excel document on one computer to scouting on a tablet.

Would you train each team on using the system?

Another problem that I see is that each team collects different data and analyzes it differently. Personally, if I were to use this system, I don’t think it would give me the flexibility to pull up certain statistics, compared to if we were to use a system written by ourselves.

A note about the system - what if someone hits the “Never Moved” button by accident? Or any of those subsequent ones? Is there any way to make that input Null?

Perhaps to make this a success you could provide the data as a CSV on a Google Spreadsheet and then teams could manipulate it as they please.

Great input, thanks! Our intent would be to train teams beforehand. We have worked with a number of other teams so far and we held remote webinars prior to the events. We are arriving Wed afternoon and will be handling the logistics and any follow-up questions. At that point we would let them lose scouting the practice rounds Thursday morning. We would plan a get together for Q & A prior to starting the matches.

As with any scouting system the human element is prone to errors. We try to minimize these by good training and lots of user feedback. Additionally, the notes field is one method to provide information from the scouter to the data analysts to fix typos and erroneous data entry. So far it has proven extremely effective.

We actually have a multi-year roadmap introducing considerably more functionality each year. I’m more than happy to share this with anyone interested. We have outstanding programming resources and have some really exciting stuff on the near horizon. We may even have a few significant enhancements done in the next week or so.

As it pertains to the open data access,we actually looked at the google docs but in the spirit of maintaining the real time nature it wasn’t intuitively obvious how to connect the google doc to a live SQL data source. If anyone knows how to do this with some guidance I’d gladly set that up.

This seems like a great project that I would love to contribute to.

I have wanted to implement something similar for a while now…

Maybe you can set up a Github Repo? That might give programmers the flexibility they want…

If this would become an “Open Source” project, I would be more than willing to add to it.

P.S. Have you heard of Google Apps Script? I am implementing something into our current scouting software - It is very powerful platform that allows you to script directly into a Google Spreadsheet.

(I’d be interested if you wanted to PM me the roadmap :p)

I’ve considered setting this up as a Git repository at some point, as I’m a pretty firm believer in F/OSS myself. I don’t imagine we’ll have that set up before Worlds given some of the moving-target changes we’re considering, but an offseason Github release isn’t something I’d rule out (what Rob thinks of it, I don’t know).

As for a spreadsheet or similar, we do have manual access to more data than is currently shown on the dashboard. I wouldn’t rule out setting up a “raw dump” page if time allows. We have a “picklist” portion of the app as a bit of a work-in-progress that accesses a lot of this data not shown on the dashboard, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to also have somewhat of an HTML table spreadsheet if wanted/needed.

A last note, perhaps you could mention a few of the things you’d scout that you wouldn’t have the “flexibility to pull up”? A flexible system is of course a design goal of the IPA system, so constructive feedback on that would be much appreciated!

1306 has a system in the works called CrowdScout that doesn’t require internet or fancy tablets/laptops, but I don’t know if it could be implemented on a championship-wide scale in time for St. Louis this year. It could certainly be done on a single-division scale, and as soon as we know what division we are in, we will be contacting the teams about it.

I’ll talk to our scouting people though to see if there’s a way to implement it for all four divisions.

Unfortunately without Internet access, you can’t get timely information to your drive team to prepare for their next match. This not only allows our drive team to see information about where teams shoot from, but can see improvements throughout the competition. If a team is making fewer shots every match, they might have an underlying problem that might need to be inveatogated. This system allows us to see that.

CrowdScout may be able to provide some quick feedback, it might just be a few rounds behind. I’ll have to chat with the scouting guys.

I would be very interested in seeing the level of detail you are collecting and what you are able to provide your drive team with a paper-based scouting system. Are you willing to share your scout sheet?

Okay, heard back from our lead scouting student. The system would be capable of real-time feedback, as long as there is internet feedback. And it could be expanded for all four divisions, though I think it would take some extra hardware (a scanner and computer + internet access) for each division.

The system uses scantron-like data recognition from reusable paper sheets (Sheets are laminated, scouters write on them with wet-erase markers). The sheets are scanned into a computer via a standard desktop scanner, the software reads the data from the sheets, and complies it. The sheets are then wiped clean, and taken back out to the scouters. If an internet connection were available, the data could be shared from there.

As far as detail, it basically comes down to what you can fit on the sheet I think.

I’ve linked this thread to our scouting master, so he can handle more technical questions/correct anything I might have gotten wrong.

This was our sheet from the WI Regional

We’re using a cell phone USB hub to send a signal from our complex of 8 tablets to a server, and then sending a signal from a server to an iPhone app used by our drive team to see our scouting data in real time (we hope.) We’re still ironing out the bugs, but we’ve successfully run a rudimentary system in 2 regionals. Sharing scouting data would be interesting.

I would be very interested in talking with your scouting team to coordinate efforts at Worlds. I would encorouge you to experiment with our scouting and dashboard apps and perhaps integrate our feature sets together into a single app. We are also using android tablets but any device with a browser capable of HTML 5 will work. Phones are not usually a consideration due to the small screens.

Isn’t that illegal under the FIRST Tournament Rules?

Assuming there are no WiFi networks created in the process, I don’t believe so. There seems to be no mention of Ethernet, Bluetooth, 3G/4G, etc. being illegal.

OK Divisions are posted. We are in the Curie Division so our scouting will be done here. Anyone is welcome to our data but we could use your help. Also, we encourage the teams in other divisions to contact us to get all 4 divisions scouted in a single system.

Remember this is way more than scouting scores for the picking process. This takes the scouting to a whole new level of analysis and strategy.

I look forward to hearing from you.

will the data be open to all teams or just teams that do this scouting. Our team is sticking with our scouting system but it would still be nice to compare it with other data.