New to Scouting

Coming from VEX, FRC continues to blow me away in the sophistication. There are a lot of fundamental similarities, but it’s a joke compared to FIRST. Scouting in VEX for my team, was a clipboard and running around to all the teams we were signed up to be in an alliance with. Cutting to the chase, I am interested in methods of scouting. I know there’s field and pit scouting, etc. Our team only has two people scouting, but we could pull more people with there thumbs in there ■■■■■ from the build subteam. I’m curious what methods you guys have used, whether it be:
Paper:
if so, how, and how did you organize all of the teams?
or,
Electronic:
if so, what data transfer protocol, how would you communicate it to the driver station before a match during defense selection (i.e wondering what defenses team xxxx can’t travel over), and how would you do it? We’d have between two and five laptops, my iPad Air 2 (with Verizon SIM), and a variety of android smartphones. I’m more-so interested in doing electronic, so how would you recommend going about it, and I understand if you don’t wish to share everything with me like a download to an already made apk set up for FRC Stronghold, but any help and ways to get started would be vastly appreciated.

Cheers! :smiley:
(note, we have two people in our scouting subteam, but could probably pull from build and programming/electrical at competition)

Slightly dated video, but Karthik from 1114 has some pretty good insights on how to effectively scout and motivate the rest of your team to scout with you.

As far as methods, most teams usually do use paper and pencil with a laptop database, but if you have the money or ability, tablets make things much easier.

We are working on revamping our scouting this year however things that have worked well in the past for us include,

.Having one scout per robot on the field
-Have the scout record what points each robot individually contributed to their alliance.
-Record what deffences each robot can AND can’t tackle
-Have a section in whatever form of scouting you use, whether that be electronic or paper, where the scout can write a note about that robot for each match (the note could be anything from robot didn’t move to, the drivers were lacking practice/coordination)

.Having a picture of every robot while they’re on the field (we find it easier to identify a robot when its on the open field than when its crammed up in a tiny pit area)

.Pit scouting is useful, but it can only go so far (generally speaking most people you speak to in the pit are going to give you a sales pitch as to why you should pick them)

Once we have the scouting info from the first day of qualifications, We will spend the majority of that night with the team captain(s), drivers and scout team to work at a preliminary pick list. This lets us know which robots to keep a sharp eye on throughout the rest of qualifications. If a drastic change happens such as a robot starting to seriously malfunction, we can adjust our pick list accordingly.

Also note that having a plan laid out for what to do if your team gets picked is a really good idea.

Scouting is a big part of our teams preparation. We use created paper forms and an excel spread sheet. A good scouting team can make the difference between winning and just being there. We start by watching each week of competition via web cast. We focus on teams that will later attend the regionals we attend. We research team history’s and robot release videos. Our scouting team develops our drive teams strategy for each round and in the end the pick list. I would be so bold to say that it is the most important element after build season.

I was a scouter in my team in 2013-2015 and in 2015 I was the lead scout.
We had 12 main people in our scouting team, which were divided to 4 groups of 3 people each (we will call them group A, B, C and D)
group A and group B worked together for an hour, and after that group C and group D replaced them for another hour, until the end of the matches, this way the scouters can take a long break every hour and stay focused on the game when it is their turn to scout.
Groups A and C follows the red alliance while groups B and D follows the blue one, every group has a leader (someone that it is at least his 2nd year as scouter), the leader job is to make sure that the other 2 members always show up, and help them if they need.
each scouter watches one robot each match and fill a paper on that robot with what he can do, for example in 2016 you can write which defences he crossed, how many shot he made to the low/high goal, did he climb, etc.
At the end of the first day we made a meeting with all the scouters, and divided the robots into 5 groups (best robots, good robots, average…) using the papers we filled earlier.
On the second day we continued scouting and when the qualifications were about to end, the lead scout (was me in 2015) and the leader of each group (A-D) made a final meeting where we ranked the robots we wanted to choose from 1-24, you can also add at this part a shooting robot, a defence robot etc.
GL this season.

(sorry for my english, not the best lol)

Here’s 2 threads on scouting for this year. I have longer comments there.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions.

Here’s an overview of how our stand scouting works:
In the stands we have at least 6 people scouting at all times. Each has a clipboard with a team’s sheet on it and scouts only that robot. Every team at the event has a sheet, and the sheet has rows for each match. This scouting covers things like shots taken, shots made, defenses crossed, etc. Message me if you’re interested in seeing the sheets for this year.

After the match, the scouters pass their sheets to someone who enters the data into an Excel database on a laptop. Once we have some data in the database, we can print out relevant info about the teams before each match.

While all this is going on, 1 or 2 experienced scouters are qualitatively scouting and taking notes on things like driver skill, decision making, patterns of play, etc. All of the information gathered goes to making a pick list.

So you could use our system on tablets, including the experienced scouting portion that we’ve built into the Superscout.

We’ve talked a lot about switching to an electronic system, either one like yours or designing a similar one ourselves. The main reasons we haven’t are cost of equipment, and the fact that our current system works quite well for us.