The da Vinci Surgical System robot has a new name that even a first-grader can remember — Doc Bot.
Six-year-old Makayla McMaster named the robot in a contest open to local elementary school students.
“This will be what we call it from here to infinity,” said Angelo Calbone, Saratoga Hospital’s president.
The robot assists doctors doing certain surgeries at the hospital. Currently it is used for some urinary and gynecological surgeries, and proponents say it reduces bleeding and therefore reduces recovery time.
Makayla wants to be a doctor or a nurse when she grows up, she said Friday morning after hospital officials announced she was the grand prize winner.
“I want to help people feel good,” Makayla said.
The girl’s mother, Christine McMaster, said Makayla has allergies and sees physicans regularly, and enjoys getting shots and blood work.
“She actually cried at her six-year appointment because she couldn’t get a shot,” her mother said.
The first-grade student at Division Street Elementary School in Saratoga Springs attended the awards ceremony with her mother and father, Andy McMaster.
Makayla and six finalists were honored Friday at the hospital and will be invited back today to suit up and operate the robot.
They were supposed to see the robot on Friday, but it was needed for a surgery.
Calbone predicted the students would have no trouble operating the robot’s controls.
“Using this robot is kind of like playing a video game. As I look around and see all these kids playing video games, I see future surgeons now,” Calbone said.
During surgeries, surgeons guide the robot’s movements using foot and hand controls. They watch the magnified procedures on a three-dimensional monitor.
Cathy Hamel, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, said more than 175 students in grades 1 through 5 entered the contest. Two physicians and four staffers from the surgical services department judged the entries, which included a picture each student drew of what they thought the robot looked like and a name and description of the robot.
The hospital named finalists in two age groups and three categories.
In grades 1 through 3, Jonathan Stewart’s “Dr. Clank” was considered the funniest. Jonathan is a third-grader at Division Street Elementary School.
Emma Nicholson won in the “Most Unusual” category for “SuperDuperAllyuperHelping the Hospital Robot.” She is a first-grader at Saratoga Independent School.
And Mehdji Belizaire won the most artistic designation for naming the machine “Mr. Lopez” after her principal at Milton Terrace Elementary School “because he’s a hard worker. He’s nice, cool and awesome.”
Joseph Lopez came with Mehdji, who is a second-grade student, to the awards ceremony at the hospital but didn’t know she named the robot after him until the day before, said Ellen Kerness, hospital spokeswoman.
Calbone was impressed.
“I’ve got to tell you, when I was in school, we named things after our principal, but they weren’t robots,” Calbone said.
In grades 4 and 5, Isabelle Franco won for the funniest title with “Albertclanknstok,” a play on Albert Einstein. She attends fourth grade at St. Clement’s Regional Catholic Elementary School.
Haleigh Torres named the robot the unusual “Mr. Soccersteinetle flower dancy” and said the robot plays soccer, dances and smells flowers while performing surgery. She is also a fourth-grader at St. Clement’s.
Madilyn Wilson called it “Helpi the Robot Healer” and won in the Most Artistic category. She attends grade 4 at Division Street Elementary School.