Photo from the UST Hospital Department of Medical Education and Research Facebook Page


A mechanical engineer and a doctor have developed a “telepresence” robot that can help reduce contact between healthcare frontliners and Covid-19 patients.

Pilot-testing of the “logistic indoor service assistant” (LISA), designed by University of Santo Tomas (UST) engineering faculty and students led by assistant professor Antony James Bautista and dean Philipina Marcelo, with Dr. Rodrigo Santos of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery as consultant, began at UST Hospital last week.

The robotic device — a tablet attached to a remote-controlled mobile base — allows patients to contact hospital personnel without the latter entering patient rooms, UST said in a Facebook post.

Frontliners and patients may talk via apps like Viber, Facetime or Zoom.

LISA also has a compartment box that can deliver medications, according to the UST Hospital Department of Medical Education and Research.

Bautista told university paper The Varsitarian that “The idea was to build a low-cost, and-easy-to-build telepresence robot.”

He said the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology has expressed interest in funding the project over a three-month period. (