Someone is taking apart our robot

I was told to post this in the general discussion for help, so I did.

So we have 2 periods to work on our robot. Sometime during the day someone is ruining our robot. All of the work we did yesterday was taken completely off and disappeared. One of the other teams we know is copying us but we don’t think too much of it since the time we’re in there I’m always by the robot. Yesterday I was absent so I wasn’t in there at all. My team is in band for the extra period. I’m worried if we wait too long to find out who it is, they might completely destroy it. The last of a certain gear we built the robot around so it functions, was taken off and filed down. Can you please tell us what to do? I’m dumbfounded and super worried. We have worked countless hours on it and I would cry if it was ruined. Please give us some advice. I would’ve left this on a different discussion but there wasn’t one on it.

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Well there isn’t a whole lot we can do to help, but consider sticking a motion sensor in the cabinet your robot is in

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The first thing you need to do is to notify your teacher or mentor. So they can handle this situation.

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That’s a good idea. We are telling our teacher about this tomorrow, he isn’t here today.

Talk to your teacher immediately. The robot should be put away in a secure place and only brought out when you are working on it. So sorry you’ve experienced this!

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Are the destroyed parts from your robot magically appearing on any other teams robot?

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Since your teacher isn’t there today, you might find another teacher or administrator you can talk to and ask if they can put your robot in a safe place when you aren’t working on it today. Then when your teacher is back tomorrow they can figure out what to do long term.

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So we have 2 periods to work on our robot. Sometime during the day someone is ruining our robot. All of the work we did yesterday was taken completely off and disappeared. One of the other teams we know is copying us but we don’t think too much of it since the time we’re in there I’m always by the robot. Yesterday I was absent so I wasn’t in there at all. My team is in band for the extra period. I’m worried if we wait too long to find out who it is, they might completely destroy it. The last of a certain gear we built the robot around so it functions, was taken off and filed down. Can you please tell us what to do? I’m dumbfounded and super worried. We have worked countless hours on it and I would cry if it was ruined. Vex staff, please give us some advice. I would’ve left this on a different discussion but there wasn’t one on it.

Are there security cameras in your school?
Tell your teacher or someone else, they should take this stuff seriously.

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You could post this on “general discussion.” Sounds to me like (1) you should be talking to your teacher, and (2) consider keeping your robot in a locked box, like this one: https://www.craftsman.com/products/37-in-50-gal-wheeled-lockable-tool-box

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Also, this is where a great engineering notebook can come in handy. While this is terrible, a multitude of other bad things can happen with your robot. For example, when I drive to tournaments, the robot is in the trunk of my car. I have thought many times that it would be terrible if I got rear ended and the robot was crushed. However, with a good engineering notebook, you should be able to recreate your robot. Documentation is king. That being said, whoever is destroying your robot needs to stop.

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There is security cameras, but not in this room.

We do have an engineering notebook, thank you for this though!

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You could take pictures of the progress that you have made on the robot for multiple days. And when you come back take pictures of the destroyed robot. So you can show proof to the teachers or mentors that this is happening every time.

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I think I’ll just show him the gear that got filed down. Thank you for the idea

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before you go to band you could hide a camera or phone in the room that videotapes the robot so you could find out who it is.

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That’s a really good idea, I’ll have to ask the teacher about this.

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Is there a way for the teacher to lockup your robot after you are done building to prevent anyone from getting to it?

It’s currently locked up as we speak. As in locked, I mean it’s in a box kind of hidden.

Is it hidden well? Do the team members know where It is? How would someone ruin it if it’s locked up?