by KELLEY GUSICH | photo by Lauren Nygard Photography

High-Tech Gadgetry

Robert Hotto has always loved inventing things. From an early age he had problem-solving ideas in his head. “At 10 I wrote up my first idea for an invention that would have sped up the post office,” he explained. “The idea was a grid on the postage stamp for filling in the destination zip code.” The postmaster general missed the boat on that money-saving and efficient process, but the event was a catalyst for a lifetime of creating and productivity. Meet Bob Hotto: inventor.

A background in physics and electronic engineering started Bob working for several different engineering companies. They pursued patents in a few of his ideas that turned out very successfully. For the companies. Bob realized he could profit more from his inventions if he obtained the patents himself. “What inspires me to work on an invention is to solve a problem or need,” he said. “It is more productive than just talking about the problem.” An example might be an e-voting application that would allow people to vote on their cell phones, but prevent multiple votes from one person, by checking the biometric fingerprint of the voter.


The result for Bob is forty-three issued U.S. patents to date. Most of his past inventions involved electronics and communications, but he is now concentrating on energy and some medical innovations. “I am proud that most of my past inventions have become real products in the real world,” he shared. Some developments of which he is most proud include the first PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), and Visual Voice Mail, part of all smart phones today. Also the Over Drive invention, used in matrix displays such as LCD flat panel TVs.

Bob’s inventions are like children to him – he loves them all. The most personal of his current projects involves an Omega-3 skin cream (created for his son) effective in skin recovery. He’s starting a whole skin care line at his company NanoTransDermals. Recently he worked with his local doctor on a new suture and cauterizing device to improve the outcome of many surgeries. He also understands the environment as the most critical issue of today, and so is working on two new and exciting energy-generating turbine processes. “I regularly advise people with good ideas for inventions to first trust themselves and research the idea,” Bob confided. “The world is richer and better off when people share their inventions.”

Meet Robert

Name: Robert Hotto
Profession: Inventor
Community: Carlsbad since 1998
Interests: High-tech gadgets, meteorites
Favorite Local Spots: Carlsbad Beaches