Secrecy Surrounding Cube Locks

I’ve been noticing a lot of secrecy around the concept of a cube lock. Many teams utilizing it have been diligent at keeping it’s exact details hidden from the public. While it is a pretty simple concept, with many possible solutions, information and knowledge about this useful mechanisms is

Clearly in demand.

Cube Locks
Cube Locking
Cube Lock
Cube Lock!
Cube Locking Mechanism

Tbh I find this mindset disappointing and preposterous as well.
Disappointing because vex isn’t about hoarding ideas and keeping them from other teams. It’s about improving on each other to create amazing robots. And those who have this mindset are hippocritical as well. lets imagine for a minute that if goofy was never revealed that nobody else would have invented the traybot.(obviously untrue, but we’re pretending here) So teams will take ideas people have generously share, but then refuse to share ideas of their own?

But then again, if you really come up with something cool, it is your choice whether or not you want to share that thing. However, not sharing and stopping people from learning are completely different things. Recently @Sylvie made a helpful tutorial explaining cube locks. The lock he demonstrated was of his design, and as such his choice to generously share. But he was “forced” to remove his tutorial by a team who wanted to keep cube locks secret. This issue is between Taran and said team, it is being privately resolved, so lets not talk about it here. I’m just bringing it up as an example of the disappointing behavior associated with cube locks.

Basically what I see happening here is select elite teams keeping quiet about cube locks in the hopes that the rest of us will never figure it out. But this is where things start getting preposterous. If an idea is simple and useful, like a cube lock, then other people WILL figure it out. might take longer without your help, but they will. And to attempt to stop people from learning how to make cube locks is in my opinion, not ok.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this matter, as well as encourage people to be more open with there ideas. If we all locked up and shared nothing, vex would be a sad place.

Additionally, I’ll be attempting to compile some knowledge and perhaps some tutorials pertaining to cube locks, so that everyone has access to knowledge that they could use to improve their bots.


I love the idea of sharing knowledge freely. I really enjoy making tutorials and such. The secrecy surrounding this fairly simple mechanism is astounding to me. It really shouldn’t be this way.


What surprises me is that if someone really were good enough to challenge these “top teams” then why are these “top teams” afraid if some not so experienced teams who can’t figure out how to make a lock on their own and probably don’t have nearly as advanced build techniques watch a tutorial on a cube lock whose main purpose is for scoring more in skills?


I agree with sharing but to a certain point it is a competition. Like wise people (engineers) have to think outside the box , but if you give people the blue prints to build a cube lock their is no thinking or engineering going on. Its just copying,


well, a single lock cannot work for every robot. Just look at the goofy design that had to be adapted for different teams and it’s almost impossible to find a direct replica of it being used.


+10000! In the end, it is going to be revealed. The level of secrecy is so surprising to me. VEX is about helping others succeed (that’s why we have this forum), not hoarding designs in order to separate the good from the best. Plus, he wasn’t the only person/team to revel a cube lock (I saw a team on Instagram say that they couldn’t get their lock ready for states, but they revealed what they had done anyways).


That’s me! I definitely agree with the above posts regarding the unneccessary amount of secrecy about cube locks. All in all, they’re fairly simple to make, and helpful enough to boost teams’ performance quite a bit. As more and more teams begin to experiment with their own cube locks, I see no need to hide information that could make teams more competitive.


Thanks so much! I always like it when other teams reveal their designs to the community! Especially with 8059’s RI1D reveals and some of the various other RI3Ds that have happened throughout the years.


Drow is gonna lock this like Tarans but a cube lock is just a cube lock. We are a community and we should help others. People have different trays and different locks will work on different trays. I don’t know why teams aren’t willing to share ideas or at least blue prints. If you have something special then just don’t talk about it. But its late in the season where a cube lock is really the only thing different on traybots lol. I dont know why its a big deal

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well nobody is expecting anyone to be sharing any blueprints, and even not sharing your design is your choice, even if I do disagree with it. my biggest issue is the way that people who want to share are being discouraged and prevented from doing so.


yeah, it makes sense after worlds or states if you didnt qualify i guess. But why to the Pro teams get angry when people share ideas?

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The main reasoning behind this is that many high performing teams also have average teams that could be easily boosted by potential game changing mechanisms / strategies. By preventing the strategies from being viewed by the other average teams, they can better hold their spot as the topmost team.

I’m not saying that the concept of a cube lock or any other game changing mechanism won’t be available later on with experimentation, but the whole reasoning behind the secrecy is to prevent too many teams that have the potential to be “threats” at a competition (in a sense that they have the potential to win compared to the current top team) from overthrowing the top team spot.


this mindset is the root of the issue imo. I think this is a greedy way of thinking, that you’d rather have a competitive advantage over other teams than to have other teams get better. And like I said, if you don’t want to share, that’s your choice, but to stop others from sharing is the most concerning thing to me.


additionally, I don’t think a cube stop is that great of an advantage, especially in matches. it’s mostly useful for skills. so the threat of another team in your region obtaining a cube lock is really minimal. if you’re better than them, you’ll still be able to beat them in matches.

of course you might fear than they’ll get a better skills score than you. but, if you had the lock first, you’ll still have that advantage. you’ll have more practice with it, more time to get better.

the minimal security you get by keeping cube locks hidden from public isn’t worth the trouble top teams seem to be going to.

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Personally I understand a little bit of discretion when it comes to designs, you don’t want to give other teams all the answers all the time, but in this instance it’s going to far. I know one of my favorite things to do in robotics was to show off my robot to others. It was my creation and I was proud of it, at the very least you can’t Rob others from that experience.

You see, that’s just not okay. The idea behind vex is to help everyone grow. I don’t recommenced giving step by step instructions all the time, but sharing concepts and ideas is fine. Now even then if you want to keep your own ideas to your self fine, but you can’t force others who have figured out the same from sharing.


Developing ideas through multiple iterations is essential to the engineering process. Soemtimes it is harder for new teams to develop ideas without inspiration. Sharing ideas allows teams to see what can be done. Just showing a design doesn’t mean that a team will be able to entirely hole count it. The implementation is the largest part of a design. A team keeping someone from sharing a design prevents innovation. We are a community. Lets not loose focus on the purpose of robotics.


I do not fully understand why it is so secret, but if you think about it it makes sense. If they explain what they have in detail, then they have more competition from other teams, therefore making them have to work harder and not win as many competitions. They want to be the best, and if other people have it, they might be de-throned from being the best.

IMO It’s okay to explain to someone how something works but I don’t think tutorials for refined mechanisms should be made because a lot of teams aren’t going to try to figure out how something works when a tutorial exists, they will just blatantly plug and play the design on to their own robot.


My opinion differs. I learned how to innovate and invent designs on my own from having tutorials explaining complex mechanisms, which I then learned the techniques to creating my own from. It is better to have someone inexperienced build something that they don’t fully understand the design and reasoning of, then to have them never improve because no one ever showed them how a complicated mechanism worked.


As long it isnt a exact copy of another cube lock, sharing is fine