Scouting Systems

Hey everyone!
So, I was wondering if i could ask how y’all work your scouting systems. Do you use notebooks? A specified form that you print out? An online service such as Google Docs? I’m really curious to see what y’all think works best.
Thanks and good luck with the last week of build season!:smiley:

We always have print out sheets for our scouts to ask the teams about, as well as people watching matches from the stands. Then we enter everything into a computer database one of our members made which makes data analysis a whole lot easier.

We find that it’s often times easier just to enter data directly into the computer, for easier data analysis. With that in mind, we’re trying out Tableau (available in the digital KOP) as a data analytic software, and a digital form that our scouts fill out, and upload to a remote server.

Our team has a sheet of paper for each team on which we have one row for each of their matches. We write every match of theirs on the column that it goes in before the competition and put each sheet next to the rest of the teams for that match after we finish scouting a particular match so that when a match starts we hand out a stack of 6 sheets to our scouts. In the end every team has an in depth scouting sheet with lots of data on them.

We have our own custom, open source scouting system that our programmers have written. We’ve used Excel in years past, but found that we could do a little bit better at handling match videos and pictures on our own. Source code is available at https://github.com/brennonbrimhall/gemini.

This year we switched to a tablet system using a spreadsheet app for the scouting sheets. We then use an excel database to analyse the data. I will probably be sharing both the scouting sheet template and the database in the next two weeks.

Last year, Team 3512 used a 3 pronged scouting system that worked really well.

From a top down view you have 3 parts:

  1. Pit Scouting.
  2. Match Scouting.
  3. The Database.

Pit scouting:
For pit scouting, you want to get general idea about each robot. We took a picture of each robot, and had a paper sheet for each team where we recorded physical aspects about the robot, things such as drive train, appendage (last year was type of shooter), ect. We then transferred all of this information to our scouting database which I will talk about next.

Match Scouting:
This is where it starts to get complicated. The basic idea is to record everything every robot does on the field. The way that we accomplished this was to create a paper scouting sheet, where scouts could record information about each robot (for last year, things like shots fired, shots made, auto, climbing) you get the idea. You need a scout for every robot THAT MAKES 6 TOTAL, with one or two extras (they are only human, the get tired!) This scouting sheet had enough for 15 matches, just in case. Every team had a scouting sheet, and all of the sheets we put in a mobile filing cabinet (word to the wise, i tried a binder to hold them all in at first, but your fingers will fall off by the end of competition!!!).

This is how a match would go:
-5 minutes before the match, you que up the match by gathering all of sheets for each team in that match. We had clipboards to put the sheets on, and make sure to have plenty of pens/pencils.
-Deliver the 6 clip boards to your scouts, pick up the sheets from the last match.
-As match is underway, take the sheets from the previous match and start recording the information into your database, refile them back into your file cabinet.
-Rinse and repeat.

The Database:
This is the meat and potatoes of scouting. The database we used last year was excel, and has a few parts that I will review for you.

1. A sheet for every team: here you record all of the pit and match scouting for every team. You can use functions in excel to compute average match score for a team, you can use graphs to notice general trends (example like a team who finally dials in their shooter, and starts scoring well), ect.

2. The Master list: While its nice to have a sheet in excel dedicated to every team, it is time consuming to flip through 60+ sheets in excel to find a team to look at their stats. That’s why we had a master list that displays all of the average stats for every team, all in once convenient table. You can make it s this list automatically updates as you enter new matches for teams.

**3. Match Look up: ** This was an idea one of our team member had where we have a table with six rows, and as you enter team numbers, it pulls of all of the data from The Master List, but only for the select 6 teams you want. The idea is to get a rough estimate of how your next match will go, if every team scores their average amount of points. We had a printer on hand, so 20 minutes before our teams next match, we would print the match look up out, and deliver it to our drivers so they can plan strategy accordingly.

4. The Rankings: Very similar to The Master List, except it here you have it rank teams based on their stats, and how you weight those stats (auto scoring is always one of the most important aspects). The rankings is used for alliance selection.

I know that’s a lot, but I hope it helps!