SCOUTING SYSTEM



Being successful in the FIRST Robotics Competition requires having a solid strategy and undertanding of what other robots will complement you best.

To do this team's scout other teams at the event and collect data on their performance.

For our first three years we worked with other teams using their own systems, but for 2017 it was time to develop our own.

The result is a collaboration of development between myself and a member of another team. This system was used at over 10 different events.

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PLATFORM SELECTION


Going into the project we had a list of requirements of things we liked about the old system, and many new ones that were previously lacking. These requirements were:

  • Easy and quick data entry
  • Visualization of data to show trends
  • Having people throughout the event have access to the data at all times
  • Connection to field management system to gain match scores as they’re posted

With these requirements we explored three potential platforms:

Excel


Pros:

  • Easy to develop and modify
  • Built in graphing for visualization

Cons:

  • Offline (have to share physical copy of data)

Google Sheets


Pros:

  • Core functionality of Excel
  • Online sync and easy sharing
  • Scripts can run in cloud with Google Apps Scripts

Cons:

  • Internet connection required

Custom App


Pros:

  • Extremely customizable



Cons:

  • Hard to develop
  • More overhead for database
  • Limited to Android only


In the end we selected Google Sheets for having almost all the benefits of excel, with the addition of being easily shared with all team members and having scripts run online to pull data from the field system.

DESIGN


Data entry is handled by a Google Form for it’s ease of customizing input fields and seamless integration with Google Sheets.

Event data on teams attending, robot images, match schedules, and scoring breakdowns is imported through a google Apps Script making API calls to The Blue Alliance.

Raw data is stored in a master spreadsheet then imported into team spreadsheets so that multiple people can have their own copy and make changes without affecting each other.


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DATA VISUALIZATION


Scouting - Team Analytics


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Scouting - Event Analytics


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Match - Strategy


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Match - Lookup


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Settings


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