Scouting

What kind of Scouting program does your team use? As in what is your method do you use a computer, or paper? and how many students do you have doing the scouting? Ours is 2 people on paper and 1 person sitting on the middle on the computer watching the matches, It works really well.
I’m just curious. :slight_smile:

Be sure to search CD before you post. There are several threads on this subject.

Our team usually has 7 people scout. 6 for each robot per match, and 1 for input in a spreadsheet scouting database. Our spreadsheet was used to keep track of shots made in each hoop, shot percentage, points scored, bridge/barrier traversals, and balances. It helped a lot when it came to deciding between 2 fairly equal teams.

It’s summer so I’ll entertain the common and duplicate thread on the subject.

Our setup was rather elaborate. We used a Google Docs spreadsheet and form to populate it with 7 laptops and 7 students. The Google Docs spreadsheet was rather fancy with lookups and pivot tables. We had six scouts (one for each robot) and a head scout for data checking and review and as a stand-in if someone had to leave. We used a Clear 4G WiMax USB adapter into a Cradlepoint router into a network switch and ran a wired network to the 7 laptops. We also had a cameraman with a tripod taking full-field video of every match and encoding and uploading to Youtube on the fly from the stands. Then down in the pits, we had another Clear 4G WiMax adapter, Cradlepoint router, and network switch with a computer setup with a 24" widescreen monitor so we could jump on Youtube and watch past matches or jump on Google docs and look up scouting data. It all worked great, but it’s not the simplest setup, and it does incur some cost. One interesting note is we went through over 20 Gigs of bandwidth between the two Clear devices over the three day period.

Olivia,
Your system sounds similar to ours. As you found out, it is still possible to get good information with 3 scouts.

We use a 3 computer system - one red alliance, one blue alliance, and one master scout. The alliance scouts collect basic scoring statistics while the master scout comments on a team’s playing tendancies.

We have used paper in the past, but found that we can focus on collecting data than having a master scout shuffle and file paper.

We are going to publish a white paper with more details on our system shortly.

Yes it is very similar.
We used paper last year, but it was too much we had to carry around, so now we have 2 students watching each alliance,
We use paper but we cover it with a clear plastic sheet and use dry erase markers, so the person in the middle using the computer just looks down at their clipboard and puts it all into the program, and then they just erase the writing on the clipboard, and we can re-use the paper. Its pretty accurate, and its easy to set up.

This season we used a fairly simple paper system. It consisted of one sheet per team (per competition), with enough rows for all of the matches, and all of the stats were tracked with tallys in the columns.

It was very primitive, but very easy to develop. Myself and a teammate are currently finishing up our own software that will be used for live scouting on laptops. Up to 3 teams can be scouted on each computer at a time. This saves the data into the database, which can later be imported to a master database on one of the computers.
If having multiple laptops is an issue, the stats can be marked down on paper (such as the way Olivia mentioned) and then entered after the match.
The stats can then be viewed in a master table or in each team’s individual profile (which contains the team’s stats, a robot photo, pit scouting information, etc.)

The plan is to release the finished and tested software to the community for criticism in the off season and then a 2013 version some time after kickoff next year.

As for numbers, we typically have one student watching each robot, but that’s probably overkill in most scenarios.

On Team 33, we have a lot of active members engaged in scouting. We typically have 6 scouts (1 for each robot), and 1 master scout organizing assignments. We scout each robot to a sheet that has multiple cells. An example of the 2012 sheet is here. We often have specialty roles as well like human player scouting in 2009, Minibot scouting in 2011, and pit scouting.
We also typically have a “master scout” that does match scouting. Match scouting is where you scout th 5 robots who will be in your match before the match starts. We like to use the previous match data, though first match of the day relies on pit scouting, and after 3-4 matches, you can use “data trends” more reliably though this data is still pretty spotty. This master scout reviews what they think the opponents will likely do, and what they are capable of. They also cover what your partners are likely capable of. Lastly they develop a general match strategy to review with the coach. Ultimately, strategy is up to the coach, but it is the scouts responsibility to let them know what to expect, and to give a recommendation.

I have also put together a “generic” scouting booklet located here. There are lots of issues with subjective data, but it is usually better than no data. This booklet gives the user some nice options to try to organize observations about a particular team, and to ensure you get some data on every team.

Remeber, the msot important rules to scouting:
#1 Know thy customer: A bunch of useless data is useless. Collect meaningful data for its intended use (match strategy, pick list, future robot improvements, a white paper on the correlation of # of wheels with success…).
#2 Data in a computer with a dead battery is essentially useless. The coolest custom program still needs electrons to run. Have a good power plan that does not rely on the venue providing power in the stands.
#3 Web based systems require the web. There are some awesome web based systems that teams ahve showcased, that they could not use in competition becuase lack of signal (poor signal, or venue not allowing wi-fi, or spontaneous field issues resulting in wi-fi shut downs or…) Have a back-up plan that uses paper and pencil.
#4 The top teams are easy to pick out, but sorting 20th to 28th best is often very difficult. Pay attention to everyone.

This is really the quote of the day. Finding that diamond in the rough or at least someone who can help a little in your strategy can be very difficult.

If you are planning on being a top 4 seeded team (or even picked in the top couple picks) you need to know this. The first pick is usually simple but coming back up that serpentine draft you can easily find yourself with nobody left worth picking if you are not diligent with this range of teams.

I have a mundane question, but how do people handle actually getting the match scouting information from the match scouters to the drive team? (WiMax, etc technology is not so much in the cards for us right now.) Our scouting program is still pretty young and we could use some advice on streamlining this and making it easier for everyone.

In the past we have had some semblance of student analyst that can show the data to the coach+drive team in the pits pre-match. They normally gave the data and preliminary suggestions on what the opposing strategy may be and how best to go about defeating it.

What we decided to do on 1403 this year in order to get the drive coach, myself, the necessary information was have the lead scouting mentor or the scouting captain come down to the pits before every match. We then discussed strategy, robots abilities, balancing, and other necessary topics.

Sometimes we ran into the problem where we had matches very rapidly and there was not enough time to return to the pits. In this case we just discussed multiple matches and it seemed to work really well for us.

We bring a printer with us and hook it up to a robot battery, we print the sheets out with the full match results, then have a few extra scouts run it down to the drive team just before the next match, Its not as hard as it sounds. we keep a couple people as runners up in the stands with us, so the scouts don’t have to leave their post.
I think that’s what you were asking

Our technology is literally “in the cards”. We use a note card “pocket size” with the information on each team, and general strategy written on it. Then the scout or a runner brings the card to the coach after the preceding match.

Another option that my team has done in the past is to have the drive coach be a scout. We usually send students out to coach, and it works well for us to just have 2 head scouts, one of whom takes a short break to come and coach the match and then goes back to work on match scouting for the next match.

We generate what are called “match sheets”. It’s a sheet with segregated into 6 boxes with a large picture of the team, the pertinent data on each team in a small table below each picture, and sometimes some hand written comments.

Sometimes they are printed in real time, other times we print blank sheets (just missing data) and the numbers are handwritten in. They are sent to the coach via a runner, or if there is a long break the coach will walk to the stands.

It’s a nice format for displaying data and conveying who we are playing with/against for both ourselves and our partners.

For an all-paper system, it’s easy enough to have your “binder guy” compile stats for 5 teams on the fly with some paper and a calculator, scribble it down, and run it to the pits. Low tech but it works.

Thanks everyone. Our scouts do try to run the sheets to the coach (both being very much full-time jobs)–I think it’s just a manpower difficulty. We’ll get a runner who isn’t also trying to personally scout every match! I love the robot battery-powered printer. Genius! Thanks again. :slight_smile:

I literally texted every match strategy to the coach. I would send the capabilities and weaknesses of the other 5 robots in our match. I’d try to get them this info about 6-7 matches ahead of time.

That’s awesome, never thought of doing that