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Professor Nilo T Bugtai
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Affordable robots bridging the gap in surgical systems

Professor Nilo T Bugtai – Lapara play

“The LIF+ Programme was a really big opportunity for me, I never thought that I could learn so many things.”


Lapara is an affordable precise modular surgical robot system that creates an experience of touch for surgeons. It bridges the gap between conventional laparoscopic tools and fully robotic surgical systems. Conventional laparoscopic instruments are handheld. Lapara, while not fully robotic, is remote-controlled which negates the need for doctors to hold the instrument throughout a lengthy surgical procedure. Lapara is an adaptive and accurate ergonomic robotic surgical solution, which uses a 3D haptic tactile sensor to give the user a sense of touch, improving the decision-making process during surgery.

Country of origin: Philippines

People in the team: 16

The most valuable parts of the LIF+ programme

  • Help to develop a commercialisation strategy
  • Support to understand the regulatory landscape
  • Access to intellectual property expertise
  • Coaching from one-to-one mentoring
  • Access to a connected overseas network

“I decided to join the LIF+ programme to further my understanding of how to commercialise our innovation, as it is beyond the ordinary research that has been seen here in the Republic of the Philippines. This is a highly technical device, and we needed more understanding of the intellectual property and regulatory landscapes within our region and in Europe or the US. Within this 12-month period, I am very sure that I will turn Lapara into a commercially viable product.”

“The LIF+ Programme was a really big opportunity for me, I never thought that I could learn so many things. The one-to-one mentoring with the experts, and the activities within our cohorts are really opened my mind and gave me motivation.”

“Lapara is still in the research and development stage, we are refining how to perfect the functionality then we’re going to conduct big hardware and live testing to start to commercialise. We are performing safety tests and preclinical studies and testing, while also filing our patents, firstly in the Philippines.”

“Thanks to the LIF+ programme, we are now able to really visualise what we should do next with our project. It’s something I could have only dreamed of.”

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