RFID - Is it a GOOD idea or a BAD idea

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.


Who would’ve thunk Big RFID has their fingers in the highschool robotics competition pot.


They are… tracking this topic closely.


I do not want our kids to join an alliance so that they can count balls being shot out of a robot. That is not what I want them to think that is what STEM is about. I very much understand the need for the scouting data though. It has to be done, but is not a STEM job to count ball shots. The STEM job is learning how to automate it. It seems that most teams just do not think this way though. Perhaps because it is highschool, perhaps it is because their mentors just can not teach all of their kids so they tell them to go over there and count robot ball shots. I am not sure I am getting honest answers just people that want to fight it.

Scouting is a lot more than just watching matches. Are you not doing anything with the data, such as analyzing/visualizing/making use of the data for not only alliance selection but match strategy?


I don’t think it’s an honest statement to say that having kids scout would result in them thinking a robotics competition is all about counting balls.


So… it’s not a STEM job to create the software? Manage the data transfer from scouting hardware to server? Visualize the data?


Scouting is more than just watching robots score elements and recording the information. I think your team needs to consider that scouting is more than just counting balls, but also the collection of other data and the analysis of all that data. STEM is a large field, what counts as a “STEM job” isn’t defined by you.


As a scouting/strategy mentor I’d hope my students don’t think it’s only about counting balls, it’s about data analysis and modeling and using data for your advantage to help you win matches as well as having hard evidence to help back up the match strategy you want.


Who cares… that makes no sense… look at all the different ways the scores are tracked today. If no one cared then we would not have what we currently have. I will also bring up I know for a fact the great teams track how many balls your robot shot into the goal, that must be news to you I guess, but they do. RFID if networked would track that information real time and you would have the information the great teams have. Heck you might be able to use it at worlds to pick a team from the Netherlands and win the world championship by a point.

We told you how to do it as a small team but you dismissed it as having your students count balls


This isn’t in any way specific to elite teams though…

1 Like

You seem to have ignored the key part here about post-event data. I care a great deal how you’re doing during an event.
But it does me no good at a current event that you could score 89 points last week if your robot is currently only scoring 7. I can currently collect all the relevant data that I want while physically at an event, or even over an event webcast for my team to use at that current event. (2122, for example, has had their members scout over the webcast while they sent a skeleton crew to BC.)

Point is, I don’t care how your robot did previously. I care about how your robot is doing right now.


You are telling me that counting balls is a STEM job? I think you are going to loose that vote.

And I think you’re ignoring the arguments everyone is making about the feasibility of scouting