Pre-Scouting Ideation

As our design begins to take shape, wondering if anyone’s thoughts have turned to what pre-scouting criteria will be most important in determining teamwork and defensive strategies, as well as potential alliance partners. We started a little ideation and came up with the following:

  1. Is the robot able to shoot the ball over the truss and/or into the high goal
  2. Can the robot catch an over the truss pass
  3. How does the robot appear to possess the ball - a) not, b) carrier, c) herder, d) launcher (check all that apply)
  4. Is the robot have goalie capabilities (i.e. extension that fits in 6" cylinder)
  5. Is there any potential for the ball to become trapped inside the robot (i.e. shut down the alliances scoring)
  6. Does the robot have photo capabilities to detect the hot goal in auto
  7. What strategy does the team appear to have in auto - a) goalie, b) mobility, c) top goal, d) bottom goal, e) hot goal (same as #6) (check all that apply)

Any other thoughts on game specific pre-scouting and areas that you will be measuring?

Don’t forget, you’ll also want numbers so that you can compare teams in excel. Ex. High goals shot / High goals made or missed. Catches attempted. Things like this, so that you can really get down to seeing where teams excel. Once you know what you’re looking for in a good alliance, this will help tons.

Has any one looked at the new software coming on the online kit-Tableau? Do you think this will be helpful at all for scouting or just an additional program to learn that doesn’t have much help

Thanks, Andy. I submitted two threads - one for in-match and one for pre-match. I agree that shot vs made is going to be very important. Especially since you can’t start another cycle until the ball is cleared. Accuracy of shots for shooters in order to get started on the next cycle quickly and get more cycles per match will likely be very important.

We normally just use paper/pencil and then load into excel. We probably will not try Tableau.

Tableau is designed to extend your use of Excel/Access/etc. It’s pretty cool, if you watch the videos they have online it feels like a natural next step. I would highly suggest that you play with it and get the feels for it; It’s better at showing you what you want to see than excel can.

tl;dr use excel as the database, and Tableau for ranking and visualizing the teams

I agree with all those points and I have a few additions I can think of:

  • Adding on to 4, does the robot have a “static” 5 foot blocker that could be used for defense, or does the robot have non-goalie zone defense.

  • Similar to 3, but for shooting: how does the robot shoot?

  • 6 could be extended to does the robot have vision tracking.

  • Adding to 7, does the robot have multiple autonomous modes?

Now, our team likes to get some mechanical notes on the robots, things like information pertaining to the drivetrain, such as amount of motors, type of drive (8-wheel, 6-wheel, 4-wheel, swerve) wheels (omni, mechanum, Kit of Parts wheels…)

There’s also a couple of more subjective things, how many years of experience do the drivers have, how accurate are the human players, how often does the robot break, and if it breaks, how easily can you repair it.

That’s all I can think of for now, but I’m pretty sure my team does even more. I’ll report back later.

We looked on the Tableau website and watched the videos. We used it to help organize the data for our FTC team, and it was extremely helpful. We used Microsoft Access as the main database because you can input data sets faster than excel (though it doesn’t matter whether you use Access or Excel because they both work just as well).

I don’t know how much we will use Tableau during competition, but it looks like it will be extremely good at comparing teams. It has a filter feature so you can sort out teams.

Tableau would best be suited for coming up with strategies in your matches. For instance, position for autonomous: who’s accurate, and where? Does one team just not do anything? With good data from previous matches you can determine those things.

Then, for Teleop, you could determine data about both you and your opponents, like typical shooting area, who is normally in what zone, who you need to block, who isn’t worth the time to block. For your team, it can allow you to determine who should be in what zone, who should be the shooter/catcher/defender or whatever rules you have.

My only concern, is can that be done in the (sometimes little) time you have between matches?

Is anyone making a scouting program that users can just push buttons to get scouting on a team during a match. Like team #### made a shot in Auto in the low goal the person only has to push the low goal button and the program knows to add 6 points to the teams score?

Last year, 1716 created (but didn’t use) something that worked like that. What we did was use Excel and macros, where we hooked up macros to different buttons in Excel. When those buttons were pressed, scores were added in different cells.

It wasn’t physical buttons or anything, but it did what you asked about. I don’t have a copy on me, but I could try to get one from my teammate.

Team 195 will be using tableau, as it seems to be a very valuable tool for sorting data. However, unlike some teams which have stated they do scouting manually, our team is using a MS Office ACCESS based program.

We used tablets, Wii remotes and a laptop last year. We saved the data from each match onto an SD card, then loaded that onto the laptop for import into a database.

MSAccess has some pretty straightforward reporting tools. Tableau looks interesting too, so we may opt to go that route.

It seems like the biggest issue we face is making the data available to the pit. We tried to deliver it on USB, and even on paper - it’s just too big a hassle. It looks like we’ll have to buy a cellular card for the laptop, so we can produce the reports and email them to the pit crew, who can view them on their phones.

Does anyone have any tried and true data delivery solutions?

What did you use the Wii remote for?

And it seems like the best method for transferring data would be to have your data be synced with something like Dropbox, and to have an internet-enabled device connected to Dropbox in both the pits and in the stands.

I was the one who made the videos and our team used Tableau all last year at competitions. Generating reports about how to play the next match took me an average of 45 seconds including printing. Generating the reports are quite easy and are totally worth the time to generate.