What is Scouting, and Why?
Most essentially, scouting is observing the quantitative and qualitative behaviors of a robot. Quantitative data includes robot actions that can be measured quantitatively and averaged, such as the number of game pieces manipulated in a match and if a robot is able to perform certain actions. Qualitative data is measured through a scouter’s perception, and examples of behaviors scouts look out for include a robot’s defense capabilities and its functionality.
During competitions, each team is put in matches against other alliances, which consist of three other teams. The goal of scouting is to out-strategize the other alliance by predicting how a robot is to behave using collected data. The Strategy Captain and the Scouting Lead work together to strategize matches based on the data provided by scouts.
What Do We Use to Scout?
For the past two years, we have used a scouting app called Peregrine during on-season competitions. A scouting app is a website that scouts use to enter their quantitative and qualitative data on a robot. This allows for data to be easily accessible for anyone who wishes to view it, primarily the Scouting Lead or Strategy Captain. The scouting app is used for off-season competitions as well.
In specific off-season competitions, primarily one called BunnyBots, a paper scouting method is used. Though paper scouting is a comparatively more tedious process, it is an alternative used when the scouting app is unable to be used.
It is difficult to predict how another alliance will behave during our first match of an event, as a majority of those teams have not had a chance to compete yet. For this reason, we do pit scouting, where we go to other teams’ pits and ask questions about their robot. The questions are listed on a sheet of paper, and scouts record the responses. Additionally, if scouts wish to further comment on a team’s robot, a comment section is provided. Examples of comments include whether a robot seems to be top heavy or what level their robot can climb to (depending on what the game is that year). Pit scouting allows for everyone to get an idea of how a robot can perform during an event.
How Do You Scout for Deep Space 2019?
First of all, you will need an account for our scouting app, https://peregrine.ga/, which Brendan Burkhart, Josiah Chan, Caleb Eby, Franklin Harding, and Jennifer Kuchar can help you with.
When first opening the scouting app, scouts will be welcomed with a list of events, which are sorted alphabetically by the next upcoming event.
When an event is selected from the home page, a tab regarding event information will appear. It directs viewers to directions to the event, a link to add the event to their calendar, and the live-stream for the event. When an event is ongoing, an icon for the next match will appear, and you can tap/click on that match for match information and to scout, which will be discussed later on in this document.
The "Teams" tab allows for scouts to view collected data on each team that is competing in the event. The number on the left displays the average times each match they have either attempted or completed an action, while the number in the parenthesis signifies the maximum times they have performed an action in any match. You can view comments of each specific team by tapping/clicking their name.
The "Matches" tab directs you to all the matches in the event. This is especially helpful for when you want to know which teams are playing next, or if you want to scout from a pre-recorded Twitch stream/YouTube video.
Selecting a match will bring up stats for teams competing in that match. The "SCOUT MATCH" button will direct scouts to a page that allows for scouts to scout. If someone is not already logged in, a login page will be prompted. Careful, though; the username is case and space sensitive!
To scout, simply choose a team to scout. The scouting lead will usually hand out a scouting slip that tells you which team to scout. If your slip says "Red 3", you scout the third red team as displayed on the scouting app.
Autonomous period is the first fifteen seconds of a match when a robot is completely controlled by code or, in this year's case, controlled by a driver looking through a camera, as their viewing window of the field is blocked by a black cloth. "Sandstorm 1" is successfully completed when a robot is able to get off of HAB platform 1 and cross the HAB line. The same goes for "Sandstorm 2" if a team successfully crosses the HAB line after getting off of HAB platform 2. If they are unable to pass the HAB line but are able to move during the Autonomous period, a Sandstorm attempt will be counted. A cargo is successfully placed when it is launched into either the Cargo Ship or any level of the Rocket on its first attempt. A failure will be counted if the robot launches the cargo, but it is unable to make it into either the Cargo Ship or Rocket or if the robot drops the cargo. The same goes for Hatches.
Teleoperated period occurs for the remaining 135 seconds of the match. Within this period, robots score cargo and hatches on the cargo ship as well as on all three levels of the rocket. In the endgame, robots will drive on over to the HAB platforms and either remain on HAB 1 or climb to HAB levels 2 or 3. A robot has successfully climbed to any HAB level if its robot is completely supported by that HAB level, meaning no part of their robot can be touching any of the other HABs. At the very bottom, scouts will be asked to total up how many hatches and cargo a team was able to manipulate throughout a game. Additionally, a comment section is provided. When making comments, please remember to be graciously professional; we will be publishing the scouting data at the end of the season!
The Blue Alliance is a useful resource for people interested in viewing specific match stats and re-watching match videos. Viewers can also access event rankings, district rankings, as well as view data from previous years.