MASON, Ohio (WKRC) – A robot is catching attention at the Western & Southern Open in Mason this year.
‘Melly’ is helping to raise awareness about skin cancer. The robot can travel both autonomously and via a controller. It’s roaming the grounds on a loop near the fan zone.
When a person steps in front of the robot, it stops and gives people the opportunity to press a button and open its side doors; inside is free samples of sunscreen.
“’Melanoma Know More’ is an organization here in Cincinnati. It’s all about raising awareness support and education and research towards the fight towards melanoma. So, through another organization that’s been around, that merged with ‘Melanoma Know More’, we’ve been passing out sunscreen at tournaments since 2011,” said Alex Burkhart with ‘Melanoma No More’. “So, recently we came together and (said), ‘How do we take this to the next level?’ and we were like, ‘Well, maybe rather than us going around passing out sunscreen maybe we can come together and have a robot do it.’”
Burkhart said the robot was a hit when the tournament started over the weekend.
“It’s been a really great initiative. We’ve had the opportunity where we’ve had dermatologists in town that actually sponsored the robot — Ohio Skin and other organizations — that came together all to support ‘Melanoma Know More.’”
The robot will be roaming the ground at the Western & Southern Open and featured at a booth in the fan zone. The tournament runs through Aug. 20.