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  #31   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-01-2018, 05:03 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

There is nothing un-GP about politely asking someone to stop taking so many photos of your robot, and declining to share detailed design specifics on the grounds of protecting your competitive advantage.
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Unread 04-01-2018, 08:31 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by worriedstudent View Post
Hi CD,

My team has a relatively unique design which has been pretty effective for us in our events this year. At our past event, apparently someone from another team (which has a robot with a very similar intake) came over to our pit and snapped a bunch of photos, and asked people in pits about all the design decisions and tricks we used to make it work.

We're worried that they might use their unbag before the district championship to completely copy our design. At their first event, they had a massive elevator which they managed to totally remove during 6 hours between their first event and their second event, so copying our design would not be too difficult for them (because they have upwards of 50 members).

I know this doesn't sound GP, but the thought of working hard all season to come up with a unique and effective design, only to have it copied right before the district championship, is really infuriating. I know a lot of teams like 3847 and 319 open source all of their designs, as they are committed to helping the global FRC community, but I feel like newer, lower resource teams like ours should be able to get a leg up by making a unique design. Is there any way we can resolve this, or do we have to cross our fingers and hope they don't completely copy us?

--A concerned student, after putting hundreds of hours into a robot
1> Let them, while you iterate to the next level

2> Chances are they do not know the 'little fixes' you needed to do to make your design work... and most likely they don't have the time to find all of them before competition.
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  #33   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-01-2018, 08:46 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by josesantos View Post
What other FRC-legal motor controllers are CTRE copies? The DMC seems like
the obvious clone, but are other controllers similar internally?
I'm wondering this as well. Heck, the DMC60 just seems to share similar (but not exactly the same) dimensions as the Talon SRX, and it's a PWM motor controller instead of a CAN one. Other than the obvious external case influence, it seems to be more of its own thing than anything directly copied.
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Unread 04-01-2018, 09:48 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by bobbysq View Post
I'm wondering this as well. Heck, the DMC60 just seems to share similar (but not exactly the same) dimensions as the Talon SRX, and it's a PWM motor controller instead of a CAN one. Other than the obvious external case influence, it seems to be more of its own thing than anything directly copied.
Ohh no, it's a copy.

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Unread 04-01-2018, 10:04 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by marshall View Post
Alright then. If I didn't know any better, it looks like they wanted to make a controller that was directly compatible with the Talon SRX and scaled it back for whatever reason, but using the same components and everything is basically a smoking gun. Thanks for the information.
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Unread 04-01-2018, 10:22 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

The best way to prevent your design from being copied is having a very bad design.
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Unread 04-01-2018, 10:39 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by Jared Russell View Post
The best way to prevent your design from being copied is having a very bad design.
That is Spotlight material right there
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Unread 04-01-2018, 10:45 PM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by Jared Russell View Post
The best way to prevent your design from being copied is having a very bad design.
You better watch out Jared, 1072 is coming to champs with a carbon copy of your robot- only better.
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Unread 04-02-2018, 12:18 AM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

We just ask them nicely in our reveal video:
https://youtu.be/YFq2ms-sKP8
It has worked (so far).
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Unread 04-02-2018, 12:22 AM
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Re: How to prevent design from being copied

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Originally Posted by Jared Russell View Post
The best way to prevent your design from being copied is having a very bad design.
The second-best way is to have a design that injures people when their jaws hit the floor. They're too busy taking care of their jaws to remember to whip out a camera.



Also, OP: There's the "wall of pit workers" strategy. Face the side of the robot that needs working on* towards the pit entrance, and everybody crowds in on that side or the adjacent ones, backs to the cameras. One non-involved person handles all incoming traffic with one of two general responses: "Sure come on in and here's how the robot works" for judges that want a closer look, and "Sorry, but we're conducting critical repairs, please come back later" for anybody toting a camera that isn't a judge. (As someone who got one of those some time back when doing routine pit scouting... that response is annoying but not terribly so, and gives the hope that maybe you can get the photos later.)

Or just politely ask that pictures not be taken in the pits. On the field you're pretty much at the mercy of whoever has a telephoto lens or can get field access.


*Even if that's just changing batteries/loading code.
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