Category Archives: PROJECT


Team Robolution would like to thank all their supporters throughout our FLL season and during the FLL Global Innovation Award voting.  We were so excited to finish 9th in the top 10 most voted ideas at the end of the online voting period.  We found out on April 1 that we were in the top 20 semi-finalists, who are being considered for the top three finalists.

No matter what the outcome is, we are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to further the awareness about dehydration in the elderly and the HydroBand and also to promote STEM/FIRST.   Also, we are glad that the community, both locally and globally, took time to vote and promote our team and other teams.  We are all winners, and we wish everyone the best of luck now and in their efforts to develop their “Senior Solution.”

Please, visit to see the top 20 finalists.

Please, visit for further updates regarding the FLL Global Innovation Award.



ROBOLUTION, FLL Team 3096, The HydroBand

We appreciate everyone's support of our team!  A big thank you from Robolution

We appreciate everyone’s support of our team! A big thank you from Robolution

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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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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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In addition to sharing our project with the experts we consulted and the local community at outreach events, we shared our project with many active seniors, including a senior focus group who met for the first time, our grandparents, our Senior Partner and the seniors at a local assisted living facility.  We also shared our project with the caregivers at that facility and conducted surveys in which both active seniors and assisted living facility caregivers completed.  Everyone provided great feedback and helped us in developing our “Senior Solution.”  In our sharing, we discussed the importance of keeping hydrated as well.


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Robolution - Photo - Team with Axelrods



Our Senior Partner identified the problem of dehydration by telling us how her husband is constantly being reminded to drink because he feels he does not get thirsty.

Our Senior Partner told us that he did not drink water while working on their roof on a summer day in their town, which is located in a very hot area.  Her husband did not feel thirsty despite the hot weather.  After he came into the house, he passed out and vomited.  He was rushed to the emergency room and was later diagnosed with severe dehydration.

When we were trying to identify senior-related problems by visiting a doctor at a local clinic, he told us that dehydration is really a concern for seniors because they lose or have a lower sense of thirst as they get older so they become dehydrated.

After field trips, extensive research, and talking with seniors, we came up with our solution to this important problem.  Then we shared our solution idea with various seniors in addition to the experts we consulted.

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UCSD Bio-Sensors Lab Field Trip

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012,  we went to UCSD bio-sensor lab and met Dr. Gough.  His research is about a continuous glucose monitoring bio-sensor which is implanted in the skin of a person and it measures glucose in the person’s body for a year.  This helps people because they don’t have to prick themselves every day.  Dr. Gough gave us a tour of the lab he works at and told us what every room was for.  He told us that every year,  they would attach little wires which had bio-sensors in them to seals and turtles so that he and his team could keep track of where those seals and turtles were swimming.  We interviewed Dr. Gough and asked him questions.  We learned that there are bio-sensors and we also learned that working in a science lab must be super fun from what Dr. Gough said.  Meeting Dr. Gough and visiting UCSD Bioengineering campus was a very exciting experience.

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Hydration and Bio Monitors

Recently, the Robolution team investigated different hydration and bio monitors to learn how they worked and whether they could be applied to the problem of dehydration.

A dehydration pedometer is a device that predicts how much water is in your body by analyzing information such as outdoor temperature, gender and height.   The pedometer can be clipped to your clothing.  A con to this device is that it might not be too accurate, since it is only a prediction.

There is a Sweat Patch that can be used to monitor dehydration.  After applying the sweat patch to the skin and wearing it for a few hours while exercising, the patch is then sent to a lab to determine whether you were dehydrated.  While this is an interesting idea, having to wait 24 hours for results is a disadvantage.

We read about a hydration management system that uses a multi-step process to measure water levels in the body.  First, the person spits into a small tube.  Next, the tube is inserted into a small hole in the circuit board.  After that, the circuit board is placed into a machine that contains an absorbent material.  Once the material absorbs the saliva and expands, it triggers a micro- lever.  Finally, the results are sent to a screen for the person to read.  While the quick read-out is an advantage, this process is complicated in that there are many parts to keep track of, and the person may not have a lot of saliva to continuously spit into the tubes.

Scientists are also working on a sweat sodium – sensitive sensor.  The sensor is attached directly to the skin and uses an ionic dye that changes color in the presence of sodium.   Used primarily for athletes, information is sent wirelessly to a coach to indicate the sodium content of the sweat and therefore the athlete’s hydration level.

Two applications currently being developed to measure glucose levels in diabetic patients may be applicable to measuring hydration.  Instead of the traditional finger-prick method, transdermal patches can be worn on the skin to measure potassium and glucose levels.  The information can be sent wirelessly to a smartphone.  The advantages of these transdermal patches are that they are painless, inexpensive and provide continuous monitoring.

The Robolution team even learned about a sensor that can be used on cows.  A micro-thin chip can be attached to a tooth to measure bacteria levels in saliva samples.  Currently only a prototype, in the future this may give a new meaning to “wisdom teeth”!

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