TMS robot at MIDB

"Botty McBotFace" is Winning Name of MIDB's Name the TMS Robot Contest

December 15, 2022

The Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB) at the University of Minnesota is excited to announce that Botty McBotFace has been selected as the winning name for its Name the TMS Robot Contest. The TMS robot at MIDB is one of only a handful in the U.S. and 1 of 40 in the world.

Taking inspiration from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s annual “Name a Snowplow” contest, MIDB conducted the Name the TMS Robot contest and received dozens of name submissions. After a final round of voting, Botty McBotFace was selected as the winner. The name will be added to a plaque mounted on the robot which families will see as they come to MIDB and participate in groundbreaking research for years to come.

While the individual who submitted the winning name prefers to remain anonymous, they did share, "I know you will all do amazing accomplishments and I hope Botty McBotFace will help along the way. From, an encouraged and grateful person."

"I am thrilled that our TMS Robot will be named Botty McBotFace, because that is the name I voted for!" said Alana Lieske, manager of MIDB's Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratories, MnDRIVE Brain Conditions. "I can't wait to give Botty a proper introduction to our next research participant. I'm looking forward to all the smiles and laughs the name will bring to our lab."

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a painless, non-invasive technique used to stimulate the brain. TMS is already an available treatment for adults with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). MIDB researchers are evaluating the use of TMS as a new treatment for children and teens with conditions like Tourette syndrome, OCD, depression, autism, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Traditional TMS requires a person to operate the TMS machine by holding a coil against the child’s head for up to 30 minutes, which is challenging for children who have difficulty staying still. MIDB’s new robot delivers TMS in the most precise way possible. The TMS robot gently moves when the child moves, which helps ensure stimulation is being delivered to the right place in the brain.

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