Patrick paces up and down the 6th floor halls at Royal University Hospital.

14-year old Patrick Belsher, Patrick the robot, and Dr. Ivar Mendez

14-year old Patrick Belsher, Patrick the robot, and Dr. Ivar Mendez


Patrick and Merlis Belsher pose with Patrick the robot.

Patrick and Merlis Belsher pose with Patrick the robot.

Patrick maps out the 6th floor of Royal University Hospital.

Patrick maps out the 6th floor of Royal University Hospital.

He’s not a worried patient or concerned family member. He’s a robot built to help physicians connect to patients in new ways. Behind the project is Dr. Ivar Mendez, the unified head of surgery for Saskatoon Health Region and the University of Saskatchewan. Mendez unveiled Patrick to a crowd at RUH on May 5, 2014.

Patrick has been roaming the halls to map out the floor plan of RUH’s 6th floor. This is where he’ll do most of his work when his skills are fully implemented. Patrick will be able to help a doctor who isn’t in the room to communicate with a patient through a computer link. A screen which doubles as Patrick’s face portrays the physician’s image to the patient and lets both the patient and the physician see and hear each other.

The robot is named after a real-life Patrick, the 14-year old son of donor Merlis Belsher. Belsher donated $210,000 to the Royal University Hospital Foundation to fund the purchase of Patrick the robot. Belsher says he wants to teach his son about the value of giving back to the community and he wants others to also participate in philanthropy to provide innovative tools in health care – like Patrick the robot.