Scouting Strategies

What do you guys look for when scouting in gateway

watch matches
if there is a robot that impresses you, then write down its number
thats all we do :slight_smile:

I ask:
*]Score in the 30 Inch goal.
*]How many objects can they hold.
*]Have an autonomous.
*]If they have an autonomous what can it do?
*]What zone do they prefer.
*]How fast can they score an object.
*]Finally if they can score over to the opponents 20 inch goal in the isolation zone.

Interaction vs. Isolation specialty is really important, especially looking at complementary autonomous strategies. Many teams may only have one zone completely refined and the other zone could be mediocre.

Our team has sheets, which have team names, numbers, and places to write down important info.(Its a spreadsheet) It keeps it all organized and easy to find. Also, this may not seem like scouting, but watching youtube videos, and getting designs off those can make some pretty good robots :slight_smile:

I would suggest watching as many of the qualification matches for different teams, because there is almost no point in asking higher tier teams if they can score in the 30" goal. By watching matches, you can see how teams drive, their strategy, autonomous routines, how players and coaches act, their actual robot efficiency (instead of people lying to you about it), and how they play a real game. If you still have any questions about the robot, then you can follow up by going to them in person. The other option is to get a person to film it all so you can watch the good ones play.

Between Murdomeek and I, we basically watch all of the interesting matches at competitions and write down whichever robots are best. Then we just remember things about those robots when it comes to alliance selection.

Thanks just wondering we just used to look at them

if you look at a still robot, it is only as good as you imagine it. but even if you only see it pick up one object and score it, it already gives you a pretty good idea about the robot functionality.
like last year at worlds, there were robots that looked extremely simple build by first year students, but on the field, they completely ripped up the court.
the vise versa applies too
the most important thing is to watch them play

Another thing that people miss a lot while scouting is driver skill, efficiency, cooperation, etc. It’s easy to take objective notes on mechanical functionality and capability concerning the actual robot. However, it is far more subjective to look at the people themselves. When it comes down to it, winners will be decided by strategy and end-game precision more than robot design at the highest level. Most robots will end up looking the same and functioning at close to the same level. That leaves driver skill and strategy as two very important determining factors.

Look for a robot that compliments yours if your robot is best in the isolation zone look for one that preforms well in the interactive zone look for strategy and make sure they are willing to work with you if you pick someone who is too arrogant they may never listen to you if your coaching the match (this can lead to disagreements in the driver box which means the robots are not preforming in sync leaving strategic gaps which my team loves to exploit)

At smaller regional competitions, it is pretty easy to pick out who the best robots are simply by spectating matches. At larger competitions, such as Worlds, if you do not have a dedicated scouter, it can be much harder. I would suggest looking at as many robots as you can on the field and see the rest in their pits. Also, at Worlds, know the teams to watch out for (Green Egg, Free Range, etc.).

Make sure you are scouting TEAMS, not just ROBOTS. My teams will usually make the rounds in the pits early in the day, taking note of teams to watch. From past competitions we also know teams that we will want to keep an eye on. From that point on, most of the feedback comes from the drive team as they interact with teams on the field. As they have a chance they will watch matches with the teams they took note of at the beginning of the day.

After each of their matches the drive teams fill in a spreadsheet that rates each team. We use a 1-5 scale for rating each team on their robot, strategy, and teamwork. When we combine the results from all 3 of my teams we get a pretty good picture of all the teams they have played with/against. These results almost always match up with the list of teams they would choose if they are an alliance captain. Occasionally a team shows up high in the ratings that was not on the radar before. If they notice this early enough they will try to watch some of their matches. Of course this leaves out some teams that none of my teams compete with/against, but it is the best we can do without having full time scouts.

When I helped organize scouting for an FRC team with 40-50 members we did scouting differently. We had several pairs that did pit scouting, gathering basic information about each robot/team. We also had at least 6 people in the stands watching every match, one person per robot on the field, filling out a match scouting form. We combined all of this information with feedback from the drive team to come up with our desired team list.


we usually try to designate one or two people to watch most of the matches and rate the teams, along with the robot in a 0-50 scale. often times a bot will look nice but will not work in matches or have horrible drivers. you also need to at the autonomous and consistency of the autonomous.

Adding to everything else that has been said, take pictures!
As everyone well knows, it can get pretty hectic between the last qualifier and alliance selection. Having pics of each bot on your laptop with notes is awesome to be able to look back on and maybe spark some memories from watching matches.

Our team looks for the speed of the robot, method of collection, amount of elements they can hold at once, their ability to score in autonomous, and the ability to score the center 30in while being in the isolation zone/ opponent 20in goal.

Also, at a bigger competition I went too, I found that by looking at robots you can either under or over estimate the robot. The best thing to do is watch them in competition.

I underestimated the robot that my team partnered with at the beginning of the competition, but when I saw it in action, it was a monster. We ended up wining the competition with the same team.

Thanks it will help a lot this year

We always exclusively watch matches in order to scout because nothing bothers us more when teams come to my pit and asks every single detail about our robot. Scouting is about figuring things out from watching, not seeing how nosy someone can be. Although we try to protect ourselves from scouters by saving some autonomous routines for use only in the elimination matches.

Towards the end of qualification matches, we start talking to teams that we would be interested in partnering with in order to (depending on the scenario) convince them to pick us or see if they are interested in being our partner. We find that this helps prevent some of the running around during alliance selection because we already have a decent plan set in place.

We have found that our scouting methods no matter how we change them always turn up messy and/or incomplete data. My friend and team mate fido488 has begun learning Java and plans to create an app to make alliance selection easier. The plan is that each match the scouts would enter the scores and perhaps other information, then the ranks would be entered at the end. The app would give you suggestions about which teams to pick. Does anyone know if people have done this before? It would be immensely helpful among the chaos of alliance selection! (Our team has never had a great scouting strategy- we have been picked by another team…once? Every other match we have been alliance captains, and often our alliance partners end up having severe problems).

Hey, I’m learning Java also. Don’t leave me out on this. xD