RFID - Is it a GOOD idea or a BAD idea

Your doint great Anthony… now sit over there and count the stars and tell me how many there are.

I could do that, but doing that would be a waste of my time when I could use the resources already at my disposal and the estimates other people have done and are willing to share. Or would you rather put RFID chips on stars and put trackers on every planet in the universe?


New theory: We’re all unintentionally training a CD troll AI. With each topic and post it becomes stronger.


What a great social experiment! Where’s platapus!


You are focused so much on putting RFID tags on all the flying objects and robots and in the goals that you’re missing something.

Are you, personally, volunteering to go to an event each week and install or make available ALL of the RFID units that will be needed? And do you have an idea on which units you might use?

BTW, other than auto lines and endgame, everything was auto-scored this year (and even part of the endgame was autoscored). It just wasn’t scored by individual robot (unless it was auto and endgame). And that’s where Component OPR can come into play. You might want to run that a few times if you haven’t already–it’ll give you a fairly good approximation of what you might be after.

Also really quickly as a serious post - would you have to register and de-register every ball entered and removed from play in the tracker so it doesn’t mess with the counts?

Astronomy is a STEM field


I highly doubt also that you have 30 years of experience in the RFID field if you think this is remotely feasible


I’ve got a 125kHz RFID chip in one hand and a 13.56MHz NFC chip in the other, I wonder if I’d get mistaken for a game piece if this system was implemented.

  1. No I do not know what the “XY Problem” is .
  2. I did not want anyone to think that I am neglecting alternatives… we will try to do better with our scouting of course why wouldnt we? That is a given… that is the game. What do you want me to say on that point?

Again… I am trying to improve the game and make it more interesting for all teams. RFID could open up our game in ways we can not even think of right now. Well I have thought about it … but that has to happen after I can get you to see the basics of it.

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Depends on encoding, tag type, size, reader power, antenna directionality, filtering, and a ton of other things. I’ve done this with data centers, with warehouse items, with industrial equipment, and with human freakin beings. The last one was the most fun as humans are bags of water that move.


I’ll just drop a wee opinion here if y’all don’t mind. The best robotics games (for spectators, competitors, mentors and coaches, and volunteers) have always been the ones that ironically relied the least on technology to keep things flowing and honest. Technology for counting things works best on machines that count, say, potatoes. They cost a lot of money up front but do the same job for decades, and they help companies increase efficiency and sell more potatoes at lower cost in the long run. Adding complexity to a system already full of bugs (rough use, barely trained volunteers, little to no repetition from year to year, etc.) always results in a worse experience. So it’s a bad idea.


So 2014 but every year with RFID tags /s


Still won’t have lit pedestals


If we replayed 2014 with just, you know, people looking at the ball go through and sayibg “okay, give them another one” it would be okay by me


Yes of course but that is not what I am talking about… a one off. You can simply see no match is a one off or a two off or 500th off … get the idea? You alone could not do the counting of all the shots taken in a match, as you are doing at your job. You would have to get more engineers… or automate it in this case. You could say well those counst dont matter… while other teams are doing it… so it is just a matter of opion at that point. My opion is the shots on goal is important, try to win a match with out it. In my opion it is the most exciting aspect of the match to understand yet I do not have access to that data.

  • RFID good!!
  • RFID bad!!

0 voters

FYI, you can select both options in the poll.

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The quickest way to see a system with RFID implemented in FRC is to trial it at an off season and write up the whole experience, the good and the bad (and trust me, there will be issues). No way is anyone going to make the effort to implement this at all the events without testing it at a few and the reason to do this isn’t for scouting data. It’s for scoring data for the refs and reducing their load and easing the volunteer experience. The bonus you get for scouting is cool but it won’t be the reason this is done.

Beyond all of the above, you have to factor costs into this at scale, bearing in mind that FRC HQ is running a small field logistics company at this point. So the entire system has to be packaged and placed into the same trucks the field already goes in and you can’t add a ton of complexity to the fields because the field volunteers are overworked as is so making field setup harder isn’t going to do it.

If it were me, I’d start this quest with Zebra and asking them what they think. I’d find out if they have tech that can help get the ball rolling at a single event.