SanTO (Sanctified Theomorphic Operator) is a small social robot with the appearance of an interactive statue of a Catholic saint.
It is the first Catholic robot since the time of the “mechanical monk” commissioned by Philip II of Spain in the 1560s.
The intended main function of SanTO is to be a prayer companion (especially for elderly people), by containing a vast amount of teachings, including the whole Bible.
SanTO incorporates elements of sacred art, including the golden ratio, in order to convey the feeling of a sacred object, matching form with functionality.


2nd classified for the innovation in the robot design contest, International Conference on Social Robotics, Tsukuba, Japan; 11/2017

Intellectual Property

G. Trovato, C. Lucho, and F. Cuellar: Application 000561-2018/DIN; resolution 001860-2018/DIN to Indecopi (Peru): “Agente Religioso” (Religious Agent). EU registration n. 005743507-0001.

Related publications

G. Trovato: "Il robot SanTO: il nuovo con uno sguardo al passato", Filosofia (65), pp-39-50 (in Italian), October 2020 [link]

G. Trovato: "La sacralità nella macchina tra passato e presente", Officina vol. 26, pp. 22-27 (in Italian), August 2019 [link]

G. Trovato, F. Pariasca, R. Ramirez, J. Cerna, V. Reutskiy, L. Rodriguez, and F. Cuellar: "Communicating with SanTO – the first Catholic robot", The 28th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2019), New Delhi, India, October 2019. [link]

G. Trovato, L. De Saint Chamas, M. Nishimura, R. Paredes, C. Lucho, A. Huerta-Mercado, and F. Cuellar: "Religion and robots: towards the synthesis of two extremes", International Journal of Social Robotics, p. 1-18, May 2019 [link]

G. Trovato, C. Lucho, A. Ramon, R. Ramirez, L. Rodriguez and F. Cuellar: "The creation of SanTO: a robot with “divine” features", 15th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots, Honolulu, USA, June 2018. [link]

G. Trovato, C. Lucho, A. Huerta-Mercado and F. Cuellar: "Design strategies for representing the divine in robots", 13th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Chicago, USA, March 2018. [link]

G. Trovato, F. Cuellar, and M. Nishimura: "Introducing ‘theomorphic robots’",
2016 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Cancún, Mexico,
November 2016. [link]

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