Need help with scouting


Do you pay for Fulcrum? I was very interested but I saw the prices.


Edit: You said fulcrum, which is not the same as Tabeau. Whoops!

Tableau is included in the virtual kit of parts. See here:


Yeah, I can definitely explain our gamification! Currently, we aren’t doing anything too complex: basically having everyone enter their names on the Robot Scouter scouting sheet, and then exporting to Excel/Google Sheets after the competition, sorting by who had the most sheets submitted, and publishing the names + handing out a prize (just something small, like a candy bar or something) to the top 3 or 4 scouters. Our team is pretty big, and we typically have 20-30 people going to competitions, so we usually have enough scouting coverage. The gamification is just an extra, fun way to make sure people are paying attention to the matches and not playing games on their phones. Plus, it makes everyone in the stands feel useful, which isn’t always easy when you can’t be actively working on the robot.

We’re working on a way to automate this with our Robot Scouter app, and hope to have that done for sometime during this competition season.


motivation for scouters on our team has often been a chance to sit in on strategy discussions and have input into our more serious ideas for alliance selection. for the drive team, since they see hardly any matches it’s useful to talk to people that have seen almost every match, just to get some perspective on the competition as a whole.
in addition, you could buddy up with another team at your event and share scouters and data


We at Skunk Works (FRC 1983) require students to scout if they do not have a known priority (pit crew, chairman’s presentation, field volunteer, etc.) We add as a perk of being on the scouting subteam exemption from scouting (but we fill in when problems develop). We develop our own electronic scouting system (which we hope to make public this year) which makes the scouting experience more interesting and easier. We have 8 Nexus Tablets designated for this purpose so setup is quick and scouts make few mistakes. We are also looking into “sharing” resources (two or more teams can scout then share their results). We carry a couple of bins of equipment (includes printers, clipboards, chargers, portable power, more) and so we are tapped for our data and resources a lot at competitions. There are reports we post that gets lots of views but we’ve had to earn a reputation of being accurate for teams to trust our stats. If you commit to scouting and are just starting, its a long road to getting to a professional level. I suggest you finding some way to maintain resources and preserve the knowledge legacy (designated mentor who can train new students each year). Until then, look for help and allies with the scouting efforts. If teams that scout are anything like us, we graciously offer our help to anyone who asks. Look for help before and during competitions.


We sometimes are scout deficient especially if we travel far , that is not an excuse. Scouting is one prong of what makes a season the other big ones…driving, strategy and engineering.

Scouting is critical to your teams success. So what to do ?

What we do (last 4 years) …is use a system that not only is effective its chock full of useful info.
What we have done before scouting an event is break down the metrics we need in partners.
We need to also figure our during the actual event what we do best that may not match what we designed for , so we scout ourselves just like any other team.

We watch every single match at the event and if teams compete earlier in video for previous weeks.We don’t scout the entire field of teams, only those that we face on the field. That covers a big % of teams and helps us gameplan in every match.
We also track during each match any “other teams” that stand out as exceptional at a metric we are tracking.

The night before Eliminations we look at online metrics to make sure we did not miss anyone and if we did (0 to 2 usually) we add them to next days watch list…we identify all probable captains down to 16 deep, then the lead student scout builds their 28-deep pick list the night before.
They adjust it on last day, we look at ranking moves that day . Are they better or worse?

When the time comes to pick (we always prepare as if we were a captain) we have our list of 28 teams that can help us win the event. We also have notes on all other likely teams we will face in eliminations. If not a captain and selected we willingly share our info. Teams see us scout so some look for our notes.

This is all done with Excel, pen, highlighters, paper and shorthand codes for notes. Ultimately the Lead student scout has the full responsibility for selecting our partners and always is our representitive if we end up as a captain. The team trusts this student. This can be done with two people …more is definately better. Idealy we want one scout per watched robot each match to take their notes only watching that single robot, the scout mentor (me usually) watches all the field for performance outliers, hopefully we have one or two more for breaks and pit scouting…so 6 scouts + mentor is a good scout team.

Its about only paying attention to what we feel is important and reducing the noise and creating the best list for us possible.

Positives of this approach over our five year history:

Never missed eliminations except once in five years we do two a year

Lead scout student learns critical thinking , responsibility and is highly valued. Scouts also feel the same.

Overall team believes in scouting and makes it a major team priority

Drive team knows how to win their matches and coordinates this with their partners, the drive captain and our driver comes up to the stands talks to the scouts after each match and takes notes in their notebook to strategize/gameplan with partners the next match.

This communication between critical areas makes the team perform better than any one area as we have a constant feedback loop between all areas all game.

In the end we have a great chance every competition and the team has pride in doing better each season. Scouting gives us an edge and a communication hub. “Eyes on bots”


Ban them from playing games or doing other stuff may do… but then they’ll probably hate you. I always appoint a person in charge just so everyone is(has to be) devoted.


For the last 4 years I have had the same problem with my team, something I found useful was making an scouting alliance.


Yes, you do pay for it but it is worth it. If you set it up correctly all of the data on the teams should be in a nice, easy to read excel sheet. I used it last year and it really helped my entire team be informed on teams we are going against as well as working with. Hope this helps!