For many graduate and post-graduate level engineering competitions, teams are required to publish not only documents detailing their devices, but also likely papers, documenting especially any innovation in technique and construction—what the close-minded SO teams would consider secrets.
SO devices don't need such documentation because innovation in building events are easy to understand at first glance, but tournaments—and indeed the entire SO setup—encourage similar openness.
Besides, this is the nature of the Internet. You do something in public, expect to see pictures of it on teh webs. The more impressive it is, the greater the exposure you will receive. If you find your "secrets" in the public's eye, take it as a compliment.
“Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” —Sophocles
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