Monthly Archives: February 2013

The HydroBand and the FLL Global Innovation Award, Robolution, Team 3096


ROBOLUTION would like to thank all its faithful blog followers, team supporters, people we’ve met during our FLL experience, and FIRST.  So far, it has been a wonderful journey filled with hard work, good friends and lots of fun.  Now, as Robolution prepares to take the next step, we need your help.

For the last six months, Robolution has been working on the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge.   The FIRST program is based on the philosophy that kids are inherently creative, so give them a real-world problem and see how they solve it.  This year’s FLL theme is Senior Solutions, and teams were challenged to identify a problem that seniors face and develop a solution to address the problem and enable seniors to remain active, engaged and independent.

Robolution identified dehydration as a significant problem facing seniors.  Because of age-related physiological changes, many seniors are unable to remain adequately hydrated on their own.   This can lead to serious problems such as hospitalization, fainting episodes, and even death.  After learning about current hydration monitors, transdermal patch and biosensor technology, and the emerging field of flexible electronics, Robolution designed the HydroBand, a non-invasive continuous transdermal electrolyte/sodium sensing hydration monitor and fluid intake reminder wristband for the elderly.  Wearing the HydroBand will improve the lives of seniors and allow them to remain active and independent and decrease the risk of dehydration and its many serious consequences.

As the idea developed, Robolution realized that the HydroBand has the potential to benefit many segments of the population, including athletes, patients prone to dehydration due to medications or disease, patients who are hospitalized, travelers to arid climates or high elevations, and others in an unlimited number of situations.  By providing a means to continuously monitor hydration levels, many individuals would avoid trips to the emergency room, thereby reducing the strain on the medical communities’ resources.

To bring the HydroBand one step closer to reality, Robolution is applying for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award.  This Award is designed to encourage and assist FLL teams to further develop their innovative solutions to real-world problems.  If Robolution wins, it would receive a cash prize used to take their idea to the next level, and the opportunity to visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.  In addition to evaluating the teams’ solutions, the Global Innovation Award considers the number of on-line votes an idea receives, and this is where you come in.

Starting at noon EST, February 11, 2013, and running to March 1, 2013, please visit

and vote for FLL Team ROBOLUTION, #3096, HydroBand.   You can vote multiple times per day, every day of the voting period, and we hope you do!


We appreciate your time and efforts in supporting the team in the FLL Global Innovation Award (GIA) competition through voting and promoting the team’s invention idea, the Hydroband.  The efforts of our friends, families, and support network are also appreciated.

Please, be sure to use fair voting practices and also to gently remind your support network the rules regarding fair voting practices for the Global Innovation Award competition.  Those rules are mentioned below verbatim and can also be found at

If you use social media such as Facebook or Twitter, please, gently rem folks of the rules.  As our team understands and focuses on the importance of the Core Values, we would like to be sure we emphasize to our constituents to practice Gracious Professionalism by voting fairly and by spreading the word about the GIA voting rules.

Everyone’s efforts are applauded in celebration of Robolution’s accomplishments, dreams, and goal to make a difference in the world by helping improve the lives of the elderly.

Thank you, in advance, for supporting us and helping to make the HydroBand a reality.  Best of luck to all teams!



How do you vote for a submission? Who can vote? How often can you vote?

Anyone can vote! Online vote totals will show popularity of an invention, but they are not the only factor that will determine the finalists or winners.  See “How will the winners be determined?” above for further details.

Click on a team invention either through the “Search for Teams” page located in the main menu or through the “Leader Board” on the left side of the screen. Click on the “Vote” button on the bottom of the invention page, and then answer the CAPTCHA question to record your vote for that invention.

Voting is unlimited. You may vote for as many inventions as you would like, and vote as many times as you like each day.

Please make sure that all teams and supporters are being “gracious professionals” by respecting the other teams and using fair voting practices (i.e. automated voting bots are NOT allowed) during the submission/voting process. It is important that all teams involved in the FLL Global Innovation Award continue to maintain the integrity of the FLL program.  If a team is found using unfair voting practices their submission may be disqualified from the award.

Note: In order to protect the integrity of the voting process each person must answer a CAPTCHA question in order to cast a vote. If you do not understand the question, simply refresh the webpage to receive a different CAPTCHA.

Note: If your team is logged into the system you will NOT be able to vote. Voting only occurs when the team is logged out.

How can a team promote their invention?

Any way you want! Post a link on a team blog, tweet about it, and spread the word among your social network. Get family and friends involved. Tell them where/how to find your submission on the site. Vote early and often!

Please make sure your team and supporters are being “gracious professionals” by respecting the other teams and using fair voting practices (i.e. automated voting bots are NOT allowed) during the submission/voting process. It is important that all teams involved in the FLL Global Innovation Award continue to maintain the integrity of the FLL program.  If a team is found using unfair voting practices their submission may be disqualified from the award.

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Encinitas Library FIRST Showcase – Feb. 2, 2013

Working together to generate excitement about STEM is an important part of the FIRST program.   This philosophy was put into action at the FIRST Showcase held on February 2, 2013, at the Encinitas Public Library.  FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team Robolution partnered with FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team Buffalo Wings, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Teams Paradox and Shockwave, and FLL Team Legonerdo da Vinci to present a comprehensive look into the progression of FIRST programs.  The community turned out in droves to observe robot demonstrations, interact with mentors at several science experiment stations, and learn about the opportunities available to students through FIRST programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math.  It is always rewarding to help others, and from this event Robolution hopes that people took away a new sense of the power and possibilities of STEM (and a little bag of oobleck!)

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FLL Qualifying Tournament – San Dieguito Academy, Encinitas

On November 4, 2012, Robolution attended an FLL Qualifying Tournament at San Dieguito Academy.  That morning the team was excited and, to be honest, a little nervous.  After months of practice and preparation, this was the first time that Robolution would be presenting to real judges and competing against other teams.  The day’s schedule included robot judging, project judging, Core Values judging, and three rounds of the robot game.

Our coach, mentors, families and friends were there to support us, but we knew that it was time for us to do this on our own and we felt ready.  After each presentation, our confidence grew.  The life skills we had been practicing, such as public speaking, problem solving and critical thinking, helped us do our best.  The robot game was very exciting.  Each round was two and a half minutes long, and that time flew by.  With pompoms and placards, our teammates cheered us on.

After a morning of hard work, it was time to have fun.  The emcees of the event told jokes, played great music, and everyone danced “Gangnam Style.”  The big finale of the day was the awards ceremony.  Teams won awards in the categories of robot design, research project, Core Values and robot game.  To our great surprise, Robolution’s name was announced last as the winner of the Champion’s Award, presented to the team with the highest overall score.  We went wild!  It felt great that we worked together as a team to achieve our goals, and most of all, we had fun doing it.

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FLL Championship Tournament – LEGOLAND

An FLL season is full of exciting activities such as field trips, public speaking opportunities and community outreach events.  The highlight of Robolution’s season was the LEGOLAND FLL Championship Tournament held on December 1, 2012.  Similar to the format of the qualifying tournaments in that teams would be judged on robot design, research project, Core Values, and three rounds of the robot game, this time Robolution was scheduled to compete against 55 other teams.

The atmosphere at LEGOLAND was electric.  Teams arrived early to set up their pits, then it was off to the judges.  The rounds of the robot game were held up on a big stage, and we felt like rock stars. Although it was busy, the morning went smoothly because we were prepared and relaxed.  At a lunchtime ceremony, teams that had won their qualifying tournaments were recognized, and at this time, callbacks were also announced.  Robolution received callbacks in two out of three possible categories – research project and Core Values.  We made a few minor adjustments to our strategy and presentations, and set off to present to yet another panel of judges.

With just a little time left in the afternoon, we managed to fit in some roller coasters at the park.  It felt great to let loose on Project X  Technic Test Track!  As night fell, everyone gathered to find out the results of the day.  What great news to hear that Robolution won the Research Award for their project solution.  There were so many fantastic teams with lots of spirit and truly innovative solutions.  Meeting kids from all over southern California who are also interested in FIRST and STEM was amazing, and Robolution was proud to be part of that inspiring event.

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Scripps Memorial Hospital Young Leaders in Healthcare Presentation – Jan. 10, 2013

One of the best parts about the FIRST program is that it emphasizes and encourages sharing information.  Robolution has participated in many outreach events, and the team always learns as much as it shares.  On January 10, 2013, Robolution attended a Young Leaders in Healthcare meeting at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas.  The Young Leaders in Healthcare program is designed to provide a forum for high school students to learn about the Health Care System and its breadth of career opportunities, teach leadership skills, provide a service project to make a positive impact on the community, and provide a venue for a student-run competition.

Robolution listened to a presentation on diabetes care and management given by Dr. Athena Philis-Tsmikas, Vice President of the Whittier Institute.  It was interesting to learn about the prevalence of diabetes in America, and to see how a retinal scanner works.  After that, Robolution presented a power point on the FIRST and FLL programs to a group of about 80 North County High school students.   In smaller break-out sessions, Robolution interacted with the audience and demonstrated the robot game, oversaw a teamwork challenge, and explained the basics of dehydration.

Robolution described their project solution to Dr. Andrew Accardi, emergency room physician, Vice Chairperson of the Scripps Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas Director of Education and the Director of the Young Leaders in Healthcare Education Program.  Dr. Accardi was very receptive to the idea, and provided valuable feedback to the team.  Overall, this was an excellent opportunity for Robolution to take part in and contribute to the larger STEM community.

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