"Fake" Teams

This thread is dedicated to the student/teacher from CHS who actually brought Vex Robotics to our school and is the reason that the middle schools in my region actually have this program at their schools. God bless you if you are that person. You are a role model in my life and have truly changed my life.

Would just like to hear everyone’s thoughts/opinions on the subject of “fake” teams or teams that hire or ask someone to specifically build a bot for them with the actual students having minimal or no participation at all. To be clear this is everyone’s opinions and no one is to be attacked for their personal opinion.

Please excuse my grammar was kinda in a hurry
As a student who first started VEX in 7th grade, who continued to do it in 8th grade, and who is ready to do it as a freshman, I am very concerned about “fake” teams. The reason for this is that I am seeing VEX grow at an amazingly fast rate and have seen a lot of potential for this “sport”. I love this competition very much and it let me discover a part of me I never knew. “Fake” teams can easily ruin this competition for everyone and I have noticed that VEX isn’t very strict on this. I hope VEX sees this thread and decides to do something about this issue before it become a major problem.

Here is a thread on something similar to this subject.

This is the answer to the linked thread.

I’m keeping an eye on this thread. Please keep it civil.

In the thread, it says you need to keep a detailed engineering notebook.
What if you already started without recording anything?

I personally think that forum threads like this are against the spirit of VEX. Nobody can really make assertions about how a team functions except itself. Additionally, I would like to ask that threads be moderated in such a way to eliminate duplicate discussions (like this one) every month, ex. drivetrains, intakes, etc. It would declutter the forum, and allow for what I’d think would be a more productive, and helpful use of the forum.

This is a problem that’s been in VEX since the start. VEX can not really do much about this, but it ruins the point of the competition.

I’m confused about what “evidence” there is that this is hapenning in the US. If the “evidence” is a team that has a excellent quality build and an excellent design, that is not enough evidence. I see lots of accusations of this on this forum with no actual evidence that it happens. Just because a team has a better robot than average doesn’t mean that an adult built it for them. I’d like posts like this to stop until someone actually provides evidence.

Short of taping every meeting of every team and making them sign affadavits that the adults did not build the robots, there is really nothing that can be done to stop it. There will always be cheaters in the world that will figure out how to get around the rules.

You already said that Vex was a life changing experience for you. The kids that are on teams where they are not building the robots are not having nearly the life changing experience that you are. That should get you some satisfaction. Cheating really benefits no one. It also doesn’t benefit anyone on this forum by obsessing over it.

I’d rather see a thread on “Real” Teams that inspire you. As others have noted, looking for the bad brings out the worst in us, looking for cheats, spreading rumors about teams, and generally leaves us with a feeling the program is flawed. I would argue that the program has real value in inspiring teams to learn from others to make themselves better engineers and people.

Pls can we stop giving attention to this thread? Unless you’re coming here actually relating to the original post and not just badmouthing it, there’s no reason to post. Ok thx.

How about a rule saying that “robots must be built by student drive team members”. It wouldn’t be enforceable, but it would discourage people from doing it.

I think that’s obvious.

Having come from FRC to now beginning to mentor a Vex team, it seems that the conversation of mentor built robots carries over too. Honestly, it only ever seems like it comes up when teams are looking for an excuse as to why they were beat.
Raise the floor of the competition, don’t try to bring the ceiling down.

@CalTran @Harrison2 @Gear Geeks @lacsap @DRow I’m actually not trying to use this as an excuse to why I was beat. I actually made it all the way to semifinals at state. The reason I created this forum was because when I was at district finals for nbn I saw 3 teams out of 12 being worked on by adults. Seeing opportunities for kids like me to learn something for the rest of their lives and develop ideas that can benefit them and the rest of the world is amazing, but to see it fade away because of competitiveness is truly sad. That is why I made this thread.

I think issuing a blanket ruling on this matter would hurt more than it would help.

Our first year, one of the largest reasons we went to state was because my father, an electrical engineer, helped with the robot. However, he did not do any design, and only did what I told him to do.

I went to our first competition alone, without any of the team. The robot was also not working. He was an extra pair of hands, which without I doubt I could have had a working robot.

Edit: The robot ended up being a 2 motor tank drive, not an engineered masterpiece. We qualified through programming skills.

There’s no reason why students shouldn’t be able to build just as good of robots as adults.

Experience in VEX and time to work on the robot are the two most important factors in determining how good a team is, and adults don’t have any significant advantages over students in either of those areas. So while it may be irritating when it is perceived as though some teams have overly involved adults, the only people it really hurts are the people on that team, which is why I disagree with any attempts to codify how teams are organized.

In other words, who cares if so-and-so’s robot is built by adults. You/me/whoever should be able to beat them anyways if we are dedicated to the program.

In competition, there is probably not a lot of time for those teams, so the adults have to help them. But before the competition, they might have built it on their own.

this really isnt even an issue when it comes to highschool teams, most of the teams that have adults building their bots are in Vex IQ

I’ve thought about this a lot - especially when comparing FRC and VEX.

In FRC, there isn’t really a kit of parts and teams are free to use pretty much whatever they want to build their robot. There are regulations on how many motors can be used but that only applies to certain motors and their robots are limited only by weight, not by size.

Because of this, many teams spend a lot of money on not only expensive COTS parts, but also on lots of mentors. It’s unfortunate, but FRC has become a competition of who has the best mentor and most small teams don’t stand a chance. Teams that win FRC usually have a ton of members and a ton of money behind them.

VEX, on the other hand, costs so much less. The parts are more inexpensive, tournament costs are cheaper, and the competitions are therefore, more accessible.

When everyone has the same kit of parts and is restricted by a much tighter set of rules, the completion changes from a money-eating competition between mentors to a completion where everyone is on the same playing field and the only limit to your success is your brain and your efforts. VEX is truly a meritocracy.

I feel like there aren’t many fake teams in VEX because in this competition, hiring someone to build a bot for you really is a disadvantage. They can’t do that much to help your team that students can’t do on their own and people in the community really frown down on the idea of shoving money into the equation to get results, as it takes a lot away from the students.

The best designs in this competition have always been from students and the best advice I’ve gotten about VEX has come from people in the community.

When new teams are starting or new students join VEX, the best help they can get is from people who are already heavily involved with the competition and no mentor can replace the savviness of some of the members of this forum and of many facebook and skype groups there are.

I couldn’t agree more.

I agree 100%.