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Ohio Third-Grader Provides Winning Entry in Miami Valley Hospital's "Name the Surgical Robot" Competition

More than 375 Students from Six Dayton-Area Elementary Schools Participated

DAYTON, Ohio — "Robie" was judged to be the winning entry in Miami Valley Hospital's (MVH's) surgical robot naming competition. Nine-year-old Erika Marsh, a third-grade honor student from Patterson Kennedy Elementary School, in Dayton came up with the first-place entry.

MVH was the first hospital in the Dayton area to perform robotic surgery, in which the physician never touches the patient. Instead, tiny arms work inside the body. The surgeon controls the robotic movements through special hand-and-foot controls at a consol several feet away from the operating table. The system allows surgeons to do such complex operations as heart valve repair, hysterectomy and prostatectomy without making large incisions.

"We decided to come up with a naming competition because we thought it would be a great way to reach out to young school children to stimulate their interest in science, medicine and technology," said Judi Woods, surgical nurse manager at MVH, who headed up a panel of 10 nurses and technicians who judged the final entries based on creativity. "We were looking for a name that was short and easy to repeat," she added. "We chose Robie because we liked the alliteration, 'Robie the Robot.' "

More than 375 elementary school students from six Dayton-area schools participated in the contest. They were given a description of the robot, and then were told to draw a picture based on that description, to choose a name and to write a brief paragraph on why they selected that name.

One finalist was chosen from each school. From there, the MVH panel chose the top contestant from among the six entries. As the first-place winner, Erika received a $75 Target gift card and a $100 gift card for The Mall at Fairfield Commons, in Dayton. In addition, she will tour MVH's surgery department and will have the opportunity to meet the robot she had named.

The other five finalists were:

  • De'Aerah Clemons, from Blairewood Elementary School in Jefferson Township, who came up with the name Wheely.
  • Cody Grippon, from East End Academy in Dayton, who came up with the name The Taskanator.
  • Erin Carmody, from Holy Angels School in Dayton, who came up with the name Care-Bot.
  • Matt Spohn, from Rushmore Elementary School in Huber Heights, who came up with the name Max.
  • Chris Spinghart, from Moraine Meadows Elementary School in Kettering, who came up with the name Beaker.