Videos Being Deleted

OK recently a lot of the competition videos for sack attack have been getting deleted and i don’t understand why? why would you not want your hard work to be out there for people to see? most people are going to say,“oh because we don’t want to be copied” you r not going to be copied. in another thread the NZ guy said he wasn’t going to post video for that reason and its not a good reason. Last year a lot of people had the side roller design before NZ it just became popular when the videos of the world cup came out. the same thing is not going to happen this year there a lot of design possibilities. what i am saying is that everyone who has video of competition should post it so that people can see how the game is played. Its unsportsmanlike and not in the spirit of VEX.

I can certainly see what your saying, but I wouldn’t agree with you.

Posting videos is certainly a decision to be made by whoever took the footage, and also they should have the permission of the team whose robot they are filming, just in case they don’t want video of their robot lurking about on the internet.

I am sure that there were many side roller designs out there in the world before the Robot World Cup that was held in New Zealand, but those designs were, let’s face it, very good indeed. If those videos weren’t released, no where near as many designs like that would have been made. If that was the case, World’s wouldn’t have just been a competition of “let’s see everyone elses version of this design” and would have been far more interesting and exciting.

The risk involved with releasing a good robot is that it will undoubtedly be copied. Taking basic concepts is OK, but it’s the teams who do a direct screw-for-screw copy that people really want to protect themselves from. I believe it is not at all in the spirit of VEX to make an exact copy. After all, if you copied a design, how would you be eligible for many of the designs at worlds such as the “Design”, “Innovate” “Create” awards?

At the end of the day it is not a law to post all videos, and teams will decide for themselves what they want and don’t want published online.

I do see where your coming from though - it is great to share ideas and to see what everyone else has designed.


Being the “NZ guy” in question, I think I need to elaborate on my views on this.

I would say that copying robot designs is unsportsmanlike, so it seems illogical to me that you call us preventing the copying of robot designs unsportsmanlike too.

“the same thing is not going to happen this year there a lot of design possibilities”. People say that every year though, and yet every year, it seems that designs all converge towards one superior design. There were many design possibilities last year as well, but it didn’t stop the wide usage of side intake robots.

I would consider it extremely unsportsmanlike to post videos including other teams robots without their permission, and considering every team in the finals of our competition did not want videos posted…

Also, “you r not going to be copied.” I don’t see any proof of that. If we got everyone to sign a binding universal legal contract that they would not copy, then maybe that would be true, but somehow I don’t see that happening.

Additionally, I believe the “Spirit of Vex” and the purpose of school robotics is to learn about science, technology, maths and engineering, as well as teamwork and people skills. I think, in order to maximise learning, it is better for teams to wait till later in the season, when everyone has had a go at designing their own robot, to post videos. This ensures that all teams get to go through a full design process, which hopefully means everyone learns more.

Also, in response to the bolded section, I’m sorry, but do you honestly believe that if those videos of the World Cup were not released, that there would have ended up the same number of effective NZ designs at worlds? It certainly had an impact on the rest of the Gateway season, and I would say that impact was a negative one.

I believe you are referring to the videos on Singapore Vex.

Personally, I do not know the person who took the videos and posted onto youtube.

But that person certainly didnt ask for permission from the teams involved before posting them.
(I know he/she didnt ask - because my teams were involved and nobody asked me about it).
So… it could be a possibility that someone in the videos didnt want their robots to be seem and requested the videos to be removed.

The way I see this issue on posting videos:

  1. Permission should be seek from those involved in the videos before the videos can be uploaded - it is called basic courtesy.
  2. It is entirely up to the teams involved to decide if they want their videos to be uploaded - their robots, their rights.
  3. Uploading videos or not has nothing got to do with the spirit of vex competition - if you want to know how is the game is played, rules, robots, etc - just email those involved directly. i am sure most of us will be more than willing to share.
  4. It is unreasonable to insist that all videos to be uploaded and shared. It is almost like saying GER should share their designs to everybody as soon as their robot is ready. Doesn’t make sense to me.

And let’s be honest - the side-rollers design was definitely made popular and “made efficient” by the NZ teams - let’s give credits where credits is due.

It’s your choice whether or not to post videos, and while I would like to see them, I respect your decision. However, I don’t fully agree with the bolded section.

Gateway is the only year I’ve seen robots converge all to one design. Round Up, on the other hand, was a pretty good year as far as robot diversity. There were clawbots, needlebots, forklifts, ladder climbers, etc., using chain lifts, rack and pinion, linkage arms, scissor lifts, and more. There were also unique bots like 1103 and 44, who could do a lot more than the average robot.

One major difference between Gateway and Round Up was the fact that in Round Up, descoring was legal. Speed and efficiency were not the only way to win a Round Up match, whereas speed was the center of Gateway, because once you got a bonus point, that point was yours for the entire match. And once you had filled more than half the goals, and doubled one, there was almost no way to beat you. So, the objective in the design process was to have a fast robot, and the NZ design took speed to its limit. Other teams had to conform to the NZ design because they didn’t have designs that could score faster, and whatever they had before their NZ bot would probably have lost.

Sack Attack resembles Round Up in that descoring is again legal, but Sack Attack also has more game objects and larger, different goals. Speed is no longer the only factor, so designs can have all sorts of objectives behind them. For example, robot can be designed to have a larger capacity, or heavy descoring capabilities, the ability to play huge defense, or they can be designed to take advantage of the high goal. This year, a lot more is possible.

I’ve gone a bit off-topic, but I think Gateway was an extreme of design convergence, and I don’t think we’ll see that sort of uniformity among robots again.

I really couldn’t have put it better so I won’t. I completely agree.

Personally, I think that if you take a robot to competition you shouldn’t have to stop anyone from recording your robot or posting videos of your robot. If you don’t want your epic design leaked, take it to competition late in the season. Expecting people to not post videos of your robot at a competition is just silly.

I think it is the other way round that we are talking about… we didnt ask the person (who uploaded the videos) to remove the videos. In fact, we have no idea did someone requested them to be removed or the person (who uploaded the videos) did it at his own accord.

But at the same time, the threadstarter cannot expect or insist everybody to upload their videos as well. This notion is silly as well (if not sillier).

And I think it is unfair for you to say that we should “take it to competition late in the season”… In Singapore, there is only one and only one opportunity (locally) for us to qualify for Worlds… and the organiser had scheduled it in June.
For those teams who couldnt make it, they will need to spend thousands of dollars to fly over to another country for the Asia Vex.
And they will need to beat all the China teams in order to qualify for the Worlds.
If you are in our shoes, will you be uploading the designs of your robot willingly so that the China teams can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your robot?

We have no say to the dates of the competitions, and we do not have the luxury of driving over to another states or regional competition.

I think what you made was a sweeping statement without understanding the situations in other countries.

I am not saying that we should totally removed all the videos, etc… what I am saying is that any person who wants to upload videos should at least have the basic courtesy to ask the teams involved first… fair enough? :wink:

One problem with that is, teams who start early in the season have more competing experience, and as such their robots and strategies are more refined by the time Worlds rolls around. This gives them an advantage over teams who started later.

You could always do what 1107B, 5492, 2W and others did in Gateway: qualify for WC with one robot and show up there with one that’s completely different. But if Worlds is your robot’s first tournament, you miss the testing experience that you get from competing in regional tournaments, and your bot isn’t tested as thoroughly. For example, 5492’s super stacker didn’t get the in-competition testing that 1107B’s did, so 5492 didn’t perform nearly as well at Worlds.

trust, it would be a lot better if the teams who actually made the designs get the credit. Not only that, its not nice going to a competition where literally a third of the robots, are the exact same design they saw on youtube/videos.

That’s why I enjoy the Michigan regional tournaments so much. Not very many teams pay attention to robots on the internet, so there’s a huge pool of unique designs here.

I agree with both sides. People should have the choice whether or not to post video, but i also agree that competition video should be posted and that you are taking a risk when you enter into a competition to have your robot video taped. So once you step into competition people don’t need your permission to take video.

i can also see that this issue varies, depending where you are in the world. In the US or at least in California most of us don’t care about video being taken because we have already talked to each other about the design in depth. we also believe in doing whatever we can to better the competition and make it harder and more fun to win.

Realistically who had the best nz robots last year? The nz teams did because when the have a robot they want to improve and people see all they can copy is the original and they are always at least a month behind the nz teams.

A lot of nz teams had really efficient nz designs but they also had additional mechanisms like 2941’s descoring piston thing while the teams that copied them either had just an efficient nz design or came up with their own additional mechanisms.
Thats one of the things i love about vex is that by copying you are always worse than the team you copied.

I don’t think that the lack of inventive designs is a problem because in real engineering a lot of the time the right way is innovative not inventive.

I personally would love to see the videos from nz and I wouldnt go around youtube telling people to remove videos of my robot but whats done is done.

Perhaps keep an eye on the big picture…

When you come up with an innovative idea, and release it to the public, you have to be prepared for imitators.

This is a good thing.

Consider the iPhone. It gets released with some novel features, like an app store. Google sees what it does, says “Hey… they are on to something here.” and copies the look and feel of the device. So Apple has to come out with a better iPhone, just to stay ahead.

Next thing you know Android comes up with voice recognition, so Apple has to release SIRI. Now Google has to improve Android’s voice recognition…

It is how competition works… it is how technology works. James Watt didn’t invent the steam engine… he looked at other steam engines and improved them.

You can safely assume that if you have a good design right now that people will be copying the design. Maybe thousands of people who see it on the internet, or dozens who saw it in competiton, but if it is a good design… it is being copied.

This means that everyone who is copying your idea is behind you… because they are trying to do what you have already done. What you need to be doing is improving your design. Lets face it… Blackberry and Nokia had smartphones long before Apple and Android did…

If you don’t want a nuts-for-nuts recreation of your machine, you are allowed to use a wide variety of materials as “non-functional decorations” to obscure the view of critical parts of your design… but every joule of energy you put into trying to keep your design secret is a joule that doesn’t go into improving it.

Keeping ahead of knock-offs and replicas is the only way to stay on top in the high tech world… if you see your machine copied, be proud of the fact… and then go out and clobber them with the upgraded version 2.


Exactly what vex is all about improving the competition so they force you to improve yourself.

Realistically however, all the robots were similar enough that it all came down to a combination of driver skill, driving strategy and some degree of luck. We definitely weren’t the greatest NZ bot (granted, we did have “extra mechanisms”), but we still got very far at Worlds. So the thing about the original creators having some inherent advantage was pretty much negligible in Gateway. I would respect teams’ wishes to keep their designs a secret, but if you REALLY don’t want your designs copied, do what Green Eggs does and wait till a later competition to reveal your actual robot. I would like to see more design variety this year, so this year we’re deviating from the whole “improve on an existing design” and going from scratch.

tl;dr: there are many ways to argue both sides, but personally, I wouldn’t want to see extreme design convergence like in Gateway.

I would argue that Round Up robots tended to be being claws/needles, but as I was only present for the second half of the season, and didn’t see many international robots, my opinions are basically just from what I saw in NZ.

But yes, you are right, Gateway was certainly an extreme case of design convergence, but there is no reason as to why it wouldn’t happen again if designs are released. Last year people could’ve been saying similar things about forced diversity caused by the game, I remember some people thinking only certain robots were able to score the high goal, and yet a super efficient design that could do basically everything was released, so it was widely used. I, once again, see no reason as to why that cannot happen again.

This isn’t entirely true. Our school which will probably have 6 robots this year, will be just fine practicing among ourselves. Then we could possibly release the design late in the season after people are more committed to their designs. I’m sure you could probably get away with going to a small competition. This is all assuming you have a really really really good design though haha.

You can go a long way practicing with your own school’s teams, but nothing can replace the rigorous conditions of a full tournament. At the second big Michigan tournament, you can tell which teams have competed already, since those robots are so much more reliable.

Our school only has 2 teams, and the other team, 7581V, is composed of rookies. I don’t think they’ll give us very effective practice.

This argument is simply a point of view argument.

If you’re looking at this from the point of view of an accomplished team, then having the abilities to take down your ideas from the internet and away from competitors is logical and it makes sense.

If you’re looking at this from the point of fans/teams that look at videos for inspiration, then videos are fun, they expose more people to the game, gameplay, the competition, and obviously, the robots.

  • Sunny G.