In robotics, scouting is used to find possible alliance partner in the elimination rounds. You should scout for teams in case you are in the elimination rounds/asked to be an alliance partner. Also, you can meet new teams and familiarize yourself with the robotics community. There are two types of scouting, match scouting and pit scouting. Match scouting is where you watch teams compete and record their abilities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Pit scouting is where you meet the team and ask them about their robot, team, strategy, etc.
Steps to become good scouters:
1. Pick 2-3 designated scouters, who are rather social and are not drivers or mentors. You cannot pick drivers or mentors because they will be too busy focusing on strategy to match scout.
2. Work on an interview spreadsheet. Ask them about their abilities to complete certain tasks based on the game. Include what they would prefer to do if you were possible alliances. Leave room to record attitude and friendliness so you can know how well they work together. You want this to be short and simple to fill out. Try not to use too much paper, as you could lose them.
3. Find out who is competing, where they are from, and what they placed in past competitions. You don't have to, but it is highly recommended.
4. When you get to competition, you first want to talk to who you are allianced with. Bring a driver or mentor, so they can talk about strategy and who will do what. Don't be judgemental or rude if they are not perfect. This is about having FUN!
5. Try to talk to every team. It may seem tiring, but it is worth it, as everyone knows who you are. If they remember that friendly team who talked to everyone, they may pick you as a possible alliance.
6. Don't give too much away about your team's strategy and weaknesses. You don't want them using information against you. Even said, you don't want to seem too secretive, just say what you need to say.
7. Be social. Meeting new people may seem akward at first, but give it a try. If you are really nice, they may help if you are in a tight spot.
8. When the matches start, rotate between match scouters. No one should be bored, and everyone should get a chance to talk to the other teams.
9. Sit on the top bleacher seat available. This may sound pointless, but you don't want anyone reading your notes.
10. Once the matches are over, go to a private table (probably the cafeteria) and talk over your top 5-10 choices for alliances and rate them.
11. No matter what place you are in, be prepared to have to choose an alliance! Have one designated scouter prepared with your choice sheet.
12. Always accept if a team chooses you and you are not a captain! Make sure you say something along the lines of, "On behalf of team (insert team number here), we graciously accept/decline your invitation."
13. Listen to the announcements and instructions given.
14. Don't lose hope if you are not picked for the elimination rounds. This is a key time the judges watch you. Congratulate all the other teams and be upbeat. Remember, its not over.
15. Always remember: GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM!!!!
The Proton Blog Team (Riya and Leo)