Secrecy Surrounding Cube Locks

Fair enough, and I will adjust my response to state that it was at your request. I will point out, however, that I watched the thread unfold and saw a great deal of uncivil behavior being displayed by many sides so… I was not even remotely surprised to have it get removed (regardless of who asked for it).


The matter is not giving new teams ideas is about having teams come up with their own ideas. On the vex forum you could do enough research to build a whole robot and code it from all the helpful information. Yes it is a great tool to new teams, but to experienced teams that just want to copy a design. Then no means should we be putting designs for people to copy.

So what then? Let the inexperienced teams suffer due to the experienced teams beginning to stagnate? The better teams shouldn’t need to be provoked or starved of information to come up with their own ideas, it should come naturally, if they don’t grow passed the point of hole counting they are not the better teams, and will always trail the better team. VEX rewards creative ideas, the person who creates it will always be ahead just cause they had an earlier start than the rest, and if they stop growing they will be passed up.
When I was younger team I ended up copying the meta. After that my skill level was high enough for me to delve into more unique designs such as my kicker/slapper design. You can’t run before you walk and for many of these teams the gateway to becoming more original is through copying first to gain the skillset to become more unique.
When you cut off these videos to prevent the stagnate teams from copying you are doing the very thing your trying to prevent and are keeping younger teams from growing.


I’m sorry to burst anyones bubble with the whole secrecy thing, like thats cool and all, but does anyone think that someone else in the vex worldwide competition has thought of something similar to them? Vex is a learning and engineering FUN opportunity for people. Don’t get me wrong, secrecy is cool, but seeing as we are currently in the clone wars, I don’t understand why this is such a controversy. Lets leave the secrets to the CIA and re-release that tutorial am I right.


I value the conversation that is going on. I am going to flip around a bit, and look at it from a perspective how do we give the opportunity for all teams to learn from one another - which is the mission of the RECF that brings you VEX Robotics Competition each year. I hear those who don’t want to just give out “copy and paste” solutions - that is absolutely correct, where is the learning when you do that? I also get that teams want a competitive advantage, but maybe they need to think back about how they learned? no one showed tips and tricks? There may be some middle ground to consider. I know with student-centered policy, there was a lot of thought about how do adults make ideas available without doing it for the students. Some times it is example code, with rough edges that can be smoothed with critical thinking by those adopting the ideas. For example, novice teams routinely ask for ways of doing autonomous selection and I routinely point them to the example code posted from last season - easy to adapt to current game and ported from VCS to VEXcode. It also includes an explanation, and I’ve seen a number of teams use it at Worlds last year and adapted it for this season. It really did not impact our teams that it was out there, it was good learning tool for new teams and cause for seasoned teams to think differently about autonomous selectors with V5. Growth for all.

So secrecy, if that is important to you - that’s ok. If you want to share you understanding, give examples that help new teams understand the concept, but enough “left as an exercise for the reader” that they can adapt it to their application. It won’t be a clone war.


Why are we flagging all these posts? I see absolutely nothing wrong with them


if teams full on copy a cube lock then share it thats not cool, but if you want to share your OWN lock then thats fine. If you have a rival and you copy off them then share it, thats not very cool. Just give ideas and try not to hole count. no one likes that lol


I completely agree with the OP. Instead of going and attacking others for what they did, we should be focusing on a healthy competition. If you feel like your idea should not be shared, then don’t share it. But people can not prevent others from achieving or sharing what they want. Everyone should keep in mind that if you are posting something that is not going to benefit the thread or conversation, or potentially hurt others, then you should not post it. Secrecy is ok, but it is unacceptable when it is being used in a demeaning manner. Vex is all about competition, but not about making other people feel unwelcome. It is your opinion to what extent you will share a design, but people should not limit others. To copy or to not copy a design is up to the person, but if that happens, then credit should be given to the original creator. Cube locks or any other design, shared or not shared, it is not my place to judge, but just to promote a Healthy Competition among teams.


“We designed a 1 way gate mechanism under the tray so that the cubes wouldn’t slide down, but due to time constraints, we didn’t get to put that into use. The 1 way gate would’ve kept the cubes in the tray when the arm was lifted so that the stack wouldn’t have fallen when scoring in towers, and although we weren’t able to perfect this within the 3 days, we do think it is a very effective way of scoring in towers while also holding multiple cubes.”


Ah the goofy Ri3D strikes again.


One of the main advantages of secrecy is for local competition. You already know you’re going to see similar designs at large events and worlds that work even better than yours (unless you have some crazy amazing idea), but for state… you don’t want you’re ideas getting out to you’re friendly competition. But at state, once everyone is already competing, then you can leak all your genius designs to everyone else in your state to help them and to also help represent your state at worlds. So idea sharing is great, but there are times when secrets must be kept for the better of your team/program. I know a lot of people will disagree, but it’s the cold hard truth that sometimes you have to do what you must to win, because getting to worlds is all that matters. But after you’ve qualified… feel free because getting great ideas passed around is great for everyone, especially since two minds think better than one. feel free to disagree. disagreement is good.


(Sorry, didn’t read the whole thread before posting, just thought my two cents might have value.)

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth any effort to denounce those who don’t feel like revealing their cube locks to the general public. I understand that all of us (definitely including myself lol) get their general designs from other teams, as well as some specific aspects. When a design is generally kept secret for this long, it is definitely something we are unfamiliar with.

The most productive and effective solution to this issue, should you want to make a cube lock, is to design it yourself. I never ended up using mine, but cube locks can be very simple designs, and I think anyone here can make an effective one. Snipping tool and public denouncing is much less likely to solve your problem.


That isn’t the sense I got from this thread. It’s perfectly ok to keep your design a secret from the world, but if someone else reveals a similar design, you don’t get to threaten them to get it taken down. That is what we are denouncing here.


+100! That is why some people are opposed to revealing their robot. (robot reveals). But that doesn’t mean that someone should stop you from revealing a robot of the same design. Just with the cube lock. Taran’s idea isn’t similar to some other designs that I have seen, so that shouldn’t mean that someone should just ask him to keep it a secret


That’s what I get for not reading the whole post :]

That is a very reasonable argument, have a nice day.


I honestly don’t think there is a lot of secrecy around cube locks. If you go on the unofficial Vex discord and ask how does a cube lock work, It will probably be explained to you. I think someone also explained how a cube lock works in one of these threads.

I’m not going to talk about the controversy over the tutorial (which is the main issue here), but honestly it doesn’t matter if someone shares a tutorial of how to make something like it. Most people already have the info on how to make one, and if you and someone else have the same info, you just have to think of ways to make your robot better than the other person’s if that’s what you care about. I don’t like tutorials like this because I think teams should design their own mechanisms, but It doesn’t negatively effect me so :man_shrugging:

I realy don´t get the issue around revealing cube locks. I have never seen two traybots that were the same. I doubt that a single cube lock design could be used on more than one robot! The way the trays and intakes are just set up are just so different that there is literally no way a single design would work for more than a few teams.


I decided to “leak” mine:

Although this design worked for me, the spacing and tray design may be different.
Honestly I think most teams need to design the cube lock around their robot. Hopefully these videos can give inspiration for teams that have yet to figure it out.

Here’s a skills run of the lock in action: skills run


IMO, this is perfect - just enough information to think “oh, that’s cool!” (which I think it is, btw) but leaves enough to the imagination that teams can immediately start thinking of how they could make something similar work with their robot without feeling like they should build something identical.


copyright really doesn’t apply here, you could copyright a technical drawing of a device, but physical invention usually needs to be patent protected. Once you publicly demonstrate an invention (ie use your robot at a competition) even gaining a patent would be hard.