Fully offline data transfer?

I’m working on a data collection app for a HS Robotics team, and one of the issues im having is getting as close to real-time data updates without an actual connection to the devices. Some background, this will be used at events where Wi-Fi is explicitly banned for use, and roughly half to all of the devices we will be using wont have any way of using data (Older Fire tablets and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2’s) and I don’t have the budget to buy a new fleet of devices that can accept SIM cards, along with buying the data plans. The goal is to have the users update as often as data is entered, as that data is needed in real-time to help direct decisions during the event.

My original idea was to make use of QR codes and have a device with a data plan that could scan and send it to a google sheet, and even found this forum post with a way to do it, but even it requires the data to first be in Google Sheets for the QR code to be made, which kinda defeats the purpose of the client devices being offline. A couple others have been thrown around, such as a 4g router with each of the devices connecting to it via an adapter, but keeping them tethered isint something im very keen on doing, along with the cost issues alluded to earlier and testing to see if such a plan would work.

I’m wondering if anyone else has any ideas as to how to tackle this problem. A semi-obvious solution is to just ditch Appsheet for the data collection side and have it in a custom app, but I could leave at any time and they would have nobody to take up the custom app, and Appsheet is just easier to leave documentation for since its as simple as editing a Gsheet currently.

@miklast Hi! And Welcome to the Community!

Let me guess…a scouting app for a FIRST Robotics Team?? Been there and done that.

I have been a mentor on a New Hampshire FIRST Robotics team and have been involved with the building of an AppSheet scouting app used for the past couple of years. Yes we did use AppSheet via Internet!

Let me point out that using WiFi is not banned. Creating your OWN WiFi is what is banned. Several events for us were at venues which had pretty good WiFi and we were able to use those networks for some users. BUT we have also been fortunate to have many members of the team who were able to supplement with their personal cellular data plans.

Having said all that, the communications were sometimes sketchy, either because the venue network was overwhelmed by all the other robotics teams OR we were in an area where cellular connections were less than stellar.

The plan has been for this next season to build from scratch a scouting platform that is a self contained server and uses Blue Tooth for connectivity. The server would be in the stands with the scouters to collect data and the drive team members would swing by between matches to get updates.

I have stepped away from mentorship, but in the spirit of coopertition, I’m sure I could put you in touch with other mentors who are looking to continue building out the platform. If you are interested in speaking with them, please drop me a private message and we can discuss more.


Sure, good distinction to make. about half of our events though don’t have reliable internet/any internet (and the world champs specifically has a $75/day charge for their venue internet) so it was easy enough to label it banned. “Not an option” may of been a better way to explain it.

Im hoping to keep as much of this in Appsheet as possible because of its simplicity for our application and having newer students be able to update it between seasons without much hassle. That being said, I am interested in case we cant find one, so a DM has been sent.