Our New Wired Scouting System

We have been using paper scouting sheets for years, we have dreamed of a digital scouting system to help us strategize both on the field and during alliance selection. We have officially taken the headfirst dive into digital scouting and wanted to share our setup.

This system allows for pit scouting on cell phones and then offline qual scouting using wired connection. It automatically calculates team match points and various statistics. It has an automatic ranking based on ability and simplifies playoff alliance creation.

It allows dual battery power and has ability to plug into wall power when available.

Completely self-contained and weatherproof for a rigorous competition season. It exports all data for even deeper dives into the data using other tools.

Programmed to use web interface so it is compatible with any device. Each student has their own unique username and password in the system to track who and how the data is being collected.

Students will be utilizing retired surfaces from our school to input match data. Our goal is to introduce heatmapping to the scouting surfaces, but that will be left to the off season to develop.

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As cool as this is (and don’t get me wrong, it’s really cool), how is this different than having a laptop running the master software and having the tablets plug into that? It seems like a lot more work building, troubleshooting, ferrying, and maintaining this portable desktop instead of a COTS laptop for probably no more money.

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Also I’d shy away from some wires in a box like this. To a non-frc intiate…it looks like a bomb. With the nature of frc and travel, I’d look for a less suspicious looking solution.

Don’t bring things like these on a plane:

(this is a light hearted post)

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So the whole reason we went down this path was because of 4 constraints.

  1. We want to use past 12V FRC batteries in the stands
  2. We need to have 6 surfaces and a central hub hard wired together at the same time.
  3. Durability, don’t want to break the central hub.
  4. This is not easily misplaced either in the shop or in the pit

The way my Programming Mentor @RogerMCT explained it to me was, “this is the best for large processing power with minimal power utilization.”

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We are cognoscente of flying with any FRC materials, we would most likely ship this with the pit or robot if we had to fly. In our 8 year existence we have never had to fly. We are in South Bend Indiana and we usually drive to New York regional, which is 10 hours, as our farthest comp. If we make worlds its in Detroit, which is about 4 hours away. Except for last year, we drove the 17 hours to Houston, which we would do again.

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It sounds like those constraints could be met with a rugged business laptop, a 12V DC inverter, and a USB hub or two. But your solution works too, and cudos to you for developing it.

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@RogerMCT

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