RFID - Is it a GOOD idea or a BAD idea

we were not 25th at our event in scoring. we were 6th we dropped to 8th after finals.

How do you know this if you weren’t scouting?

I don’t believe any system does this in the world. All power cell counts would have been counted by an individual, and possibly verified via other systems.

This is such a small advantage. Most of the decisions should be made during the event.


Are you meaning Component OPR? if not, id love to hear whatever system you’re referencing cause thats news to me.

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I’ve only briefly glanced but I think Teleop Cell+Control Panel points is what is being referenced as they are 8th in that. If that’s what is being used as justification, yikes.

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Np… I am saying big scouting teams gather individual robots shots on goal. I did not make that scouting rule … that is what they do. Everyone says so what… then why do these teams do it if it does not matter? A team that does not have this ability to scout has no idea how their robot shot much less how the other teams robots were doing.

So did we, i dont think we’re “big”. Is 20 big?

The very obvious answer then is to learn about scouting effectively and making the most of your team size (remember those scouting alliances i talked about like 20 posts ago? 4513 has been doing them for 3 years now with great success) to get the info you want and need to make informed decisions.


I do not understand what you are saying… if you mean to justify RFID. No these other people seem to want to pin our score to the justification of RFID, and that is not it at all. It is about automating scouting so small teams can have the same data as the big teams have.

+1, our scouting alliance helped us a lot, and we learned a good amount from it


On the contrary, I can’t think of much of a better place to divulge the details. People literally post whole whitepapers here for review.

Yet another thread I’m remarkably confused by.

My honest question: Unless required by rules, why would I put a device on my robot which divulges extra information about it to teams which will likely be my competitors, and probably used to formulate a strategy against me?

There is definitely a case of XY going on here - the qustion to be asking is “What ways can we gather scouting data effectively with limited resources” - not “How do we put RFID on every robot”.


You also get the data, in the case of the ZEBRA tags. Some wicked cool data too, i might add.


I was talking about your point that your team was 8th in scoring. I don’t know how you came to that conclusion.


I am sure that way works fine, I am only trying to make scouting better. RFID would do that in ways we have not even talked about.

Forgive me if I’m reiterating what the Discord guys said, but this seems very unfeasible.

Every game piece would need it’s own RFID tag (that are durable enough to endure team’s abuse). What happens if a tag is broken mid match, is it a field fault?
To get information on, for example, how many balls a particular robot scored the you’d need every ball to have their own unique ID so you could track: when a ball is being possessed by a robot, and where it is scored.
And this system has to be accurate/robust enough that if it passes over a defender suddenly the defender doesn’t take possession, and no balls are missed when they go through the goal, and other countless problems I’m sure will come up.

While it sounds great to have public, accurate, and official data, it sounds like hell to actually implement. I’m going to vote no.

As to making sure that teams have scouting data available to them, have you tried… asking?
It’s very possible I’ve been spoiled by 3663 CPR, but as a small team (~15) whenever I’ve asked a big team (>50) if we could help them in exchange for their data usually they just give us the data for free (presumably so we don’t dump untrained scouts on them to decrease their accuracy, but that’s conjecture). It’s basic GP.
As to them fudging the data or somehow biasing themselves higher; the teams I’ve talked scouting with are all looking to capture the most accurate data possible, including for themselves. How do you make preparations or strategy with fudged data? Poorly. It’s not a problem, and if it were then I fully believe that they’d quickly get found and and their public standing would go through the floor.


Agreed it’s cool. But, I don’t think that changes the potential of strategic advantages from withholding it… Especially since, in the case of ZEBRA, providing your own data is not currently a prerequisite for getting access to the data of others. Not to say that couldn’t change in the future, though…

Disclosure: I am parroting the thoughts of strategic minds far better than my own.

Many companies use RFID just because they have limited resources… that is what I have been saying is that our team is too small to manage this data… we do not have the resources to do so.

If a team of 8 people can develop a robust scouting software and convince other teams to join their scouting alliance, I’m sure your team can ask to join an existing scouting alliance

While the idea seems plausable, there are definitely logistical issues with having an RFID tag inserted in every game piece. Frankly, the people you need to convince aren’t located here; you will need to pitch this to HQ and provide them a business justification of why this this would be worth the extra sourcing and engineering time for them, especially since they often already have issues sourcing enough game pieces as is.


Have you looked inside of most of the goods you bought at the store… yeah they have a RFID tag in them. Manufactures depend on RFID to track their parts and vehicles through out the process. RFID is all around you and used in most everything you depend on. Without RFID tag we would need an army of people to track these things.

We can take advantage of RFID too, and it will free up lots of kids to move up the ladder from counting shots, to do jobs that are more productive for them. Heck they can come over to our team and help us! (I know I am asking for it.)

@tmichals I"m going to ask you to answer two questions very directly:

  1. Do you understand what is meant by the “XY Problem”?
  2. Do you understand you have chosen a particular technical solution to a general problem, neglecting valid alternatives?

Again, just going to be blunt here. What it sounds like is that you’re mad that your team picked a strategy that did not pan out at the district level, and you’re looking for someone or something to blame as to why you did not get picked. You’re trying to blame FIRST, or other teams, or anybody that you can find for their incompetence. But the truth is that your strategy, however high your point ceiling might have been, was not the strategy that high ranking teams thought was the best path to winning the event, and so they acted accordingly. Sure, it’s entirely possible that you might have won the event with your strategy, but there’s no guarantee.

Just gonna say the same thing I said over in the Discord really.

You wouldn’t be the first person to say that FIRST should try automated scoring (or rather in your case, score tracking), nor will you be the last. They’ve attempted a variety of methods in the past, with everything from weight (2013) to individual seralizing (2017). It never lasted that long and ultimately fell back on the usual haivng-a-volunteer-stand-there-and-count. Which brings us back to the same point that we’ve made numerous times to you. Scouting alliances are tested and proven.

As far as post-event data, I’ll say the same thing here as I also said during the Discord conversation. Who cares. Did X team score 18 power cells in Match 25? Cool. Don’t care. My prescouting list basically goes: Were they a Captain? Did they play in Elims? I’ll watch a match or two of theirs if they seem interesting.
And then I’ll toss all those notions straight out the window once they’ve played a match at the new event.