Our team, Geeks in Just Their Underpants, has been lucky to be fairly successful. Our team has worked well together, our robots have been well designed and we have had some great successes at competitions.
One of our weakest areas of performance is Scouting and Alliance Selection. While we are very excited to often finish as one of the top 4 teams, it also scares us to death because we sometimes can’t figure out in a very short time period who the heck we should pick as our alliance partners. WE are sure that we are not alone in this blind spot.
In an effort to help strengthen our team in this area we have a new scouting strategy. We believe that the most obvious alliance pick is not always the next highest ranking team. Many times, an 8th or 9th place team might have performed consistently, but, due to the luck of the draw, does not have an overall ranking that reflects their strength.
As a team, we decided that we wanted to track each team’s performance when it came to ring placement and row bonuses. If a team consistently places rings, and places a lot of them, they would be a great alliance partner. We also decided that the location of the placement should be taken into consideration as well. For instance, a ring on the top row is the same value as 3 on the bottom row.
At our first completion, we found it very hard to track each robot throughout the day. We decided that a database solution would be helpful. We have created a web based program that is open to all teams to use and will help you track the strength of the other robots competing.