DOST plans to fund UST engineer’s prototype robots to aide health workers

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2020 08:11 PM

MANILA—The Department of Science and Technology on Friday said that it will help fund the prototypes for a robot that will help reduce direct contact between COVID-19 patients and health workers.

During a DOST Report streamed on social media, Secretary Fortunate de la Peña talked about the Logistic Indoor Service Assistant, or LISA robot, made by University of Santo Tomas (UST) assistant professor and engineer Anthony James Bautista.

“Ito ’yung mga robot na pwede mag-assist sa hospital workers sa pamamagitan ng pag-deliver ng mga meals at medicine sa mga rooms,” De la Peña said. “And this is a help to patients, of course, and to our health workers kasi nare-reduce ang contact at risk.”

(These robots can assist hospital workers by delivering meals and medicines to patients’ rooms. And this helps patients, of course, and our health workers because it will reduce contact and risk.)

De la Peña said UST asked for assistance to produce more prototypes to let them further assess its effectivity and viability.

“So bibigyan natin ng tulong ang UST group para makagawa ng more prototypes para sa medyo malawakang assessment ng produktong ito,” De la Peña said.

(We will offer to help the UST group, so they can make more prototypes for a more extensive assessment of this product.)

An earlier ABS-CBN News report described the LISA as a “telepresence robot” that would allow patients to communicate with health workers remotely. 

One prototype is already being used at UST Hospital.

It took 5 days for Bautista to construct the robot based only on materials available in his laboratory.

The LISA robot, controlled remotely by health workers, has a tablet attached it, allowing them to speak with patients through video communication.

Based on photos, it also has a container for medicine and other items that need to be brought to the patients.