NDS Overdrive Scouting System

I posted earlier about the Nintendo DS Scouting system in November, when Rack’N’Roll was still the FRC game. Now that Overdrive is here, I need to start making a program to fit the new scenario! What better way to do this than to ask those who might use it?

If you aren’t familiar with the NDS Scouting system, read the earlier thread regarding the process and equipment necessary to run the system.
Here’s a run down for those of you too tired of mulling through CD:

Basically, the NDS system is an intuitive scouting solution to the traditional ‘pencil and paper’ method. The platform is, obviously, the Nintendo DS, mainly because the touch screen provides plenty of benefits to make it worthwhile. It’s actually quite simple; a superkey goes in the slot-1, and a supercard goes in the slot-2. The program is run from an SD card in the supercard, and data can be written/saved/changed/deleted if necessary.

Here’s where I need help: I am not really a scouting person (haven’t really sat in the stands because I’m usually in the pits or on the field). If experienced scouters could voice their opinions/suggestions/preferences for a scouting program on a DS, what would they be? The previous program had 2 screens: one for entering the match #, team #, and color, and one for the # of tubes, # of bonus points, etc. I feel if there was more input from the beginning, I could make a more efficient scouting program that more teams could effectively utilize.

So, scouters, what would you suggest I put in the program?

One thing I suggest as looking into the game a bit

the speed of the robot or gearbox used

if you go under the overpass or over

what kind of hybrid mode you use (dead reckoning, IR sensor, knock the ball down, just drive under)

gripper type(meaning grabbing mechanism/lifting vs. launching mechanism)

end game srategy

that’s all i think of for now if you have any questions on scouting let me know i have 4 years of scouting experience so feel free to email me at sebas2mil@myacc.net or aim at sebas2mil

or pm me


I agree. It’d be a lot of help to be able to input information on the robots individually instead of only plugging in the scores for each match.

That’s true, it would be nice to have a full description of each robot (this could be done with pit scouting), but think about it, does it matter how the robot is built, or how the robot performs?

Well, it would be helpful to have the capabilities of the robots “written” down. Maybe the team with one of the best records has a “box on wheels”, but has just been lucky with the alliances they were partnered into. They could have high scores recorded, but they are incapable of scoring many points of their own.

Yes, it is how the robot performs, but we would need to record how the robot performs individually, not just their alliance.

A robot that gets lucky and has a high seed because they were in good alliances, will get a very low rating using performance based scouting (which is what 1726 is working on). The idea is to have one person scouting each of the 6 robots in a match, recording the points that robot makes, and this information about each robot for each match is put into a spreadsheet. We can sort this many ways, such as by laps made, balls herded for points, balls hurdled for points, hybrid mode score, etc. So, there really is no way for a poor performing robot to look good in our scouting report.

Thanks for clarifying that. I thought it would just record alliance scores.

I would love to be able to scout on my ds

The thing that would be a problem in my opinion would getting 6 NDS’s out in the stands I would prefer a program for pit scouting more than match scouting

that’s an option. If I have time, I’ll definitely look into it (DS are much more organized than pencil and paper!!)

For teams planning on implementing this, I’ll let you know right now that I am making progress. I’ve attached an screen shot as proof.

The basic idea is that you start with the match info and move along through hybrid mode and tele-operated mode. Then you can add comments before saving. If, at any time, you forgot something or need to change it, you can simply go back and change it (left bar is a menu). You can also return to the main menu at any time.

The top screen will eventually be used to tell the time and current robot points.

Suggestions and comments appreciated.



In this game, you may overlook some good robots counting like this. As I see it, since there are two trackballs, having three hurdlers on an alliance has little benefit. The ideal alliance how I see it would be two hurdlers and a good pusher willing to help out the hurdlers by brining the ball to them. Such a robot would score very few points on its own, but would still be an important part of the alliance.

This would be very complex, but perhaps another thing to look at could be if the average scores of the other robots on an alliance consistently increase when placed with a specific robot?

Good point Daniel…on the system we developed (but never got a chance to use because we were several months late) for Rack-N-Roll, there is a place to record “defensive maneuvers”. That could be useful for Overdrive also!

The one thing I have experienced in the past with pit scouting is the ability for the teams to stretch the truth a bit about their robot’s capabilities


well they can exaggerate sometimes but I don’t think anyone ever allout lies about something. Even with a few liars pit scouting isn’t useless

well I didn’t say lie

but that is one reason why I like individual robot match scouting because it gives an accurate statistic of their robot’s abilities

although pit scouting is good to find out the speed of a robot in ft/s and also capabilities to be able to compare later

any update on this?

Heh, sorry, I just noticed this thread had some more posts…

Update: I guess, looking back at the last post in this thread I made, I’ve come along a bit. The hybrid mode and teleop mode are all wired up and done with. To get a working version I need to add the comments, the save, and then make the Excel spreadsheet. Unfortunately, for the last 2 weeks I’ve been busy with the team website/english project/programming/building/etc. So I haven’t had any time work on it recently… Don’t worry though, I’ll have it finished by the end of build season! (in fact, maybe I can find some time today to work on it…)

Can you make this software scalable so we can use it with only 1 or 2 DS’s ? Not all teams have access to several cards and DS’s.

Well… the idea with this is that every DS goes to 1 robot on the field… it will work with however many DS’s you have, but then you need to remember the numbers and stuff for every robot.

Also, a slight update. I am now 80% done! And by 80% I mean the DS end of the scouting software is now done. The rest of it is an excel macro that may take several days to figure out (hopefully not… but we’ll see) that sorts the data and actually makes it useful.

Check attachment for screen shots of the program. Questions & comments appreciated.

very nice, any plan for pit scouting