BACKGROUND: We report our experience in starting RATS (robotic-assisted thoracic surgery) lobectomy program during COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Data from 20 consecutive cases undergoing RATS lobectomy between August 2020 and April 2021 were prospectively accumulated into our database. RESULTS: The mean operational time was 235±69 minutes (median 210, range 175 to 370). Conversion-to-open rate was 5 %. One patient was converted to an open procedure during surgery due to surgical bleeding. One patient (5 %), with sever chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), had prolonged air leak with chest drainage 11 days and conservative treatment. Morbidity rate was 10 % (2 patients). Estimated costs of RATS lobectomy in our department were $9,590 (range $8,250-$12,730). 30-days mortality was 0%. CONCLUSIONS: Safe robotic surgery is based not only on improved robotic equipment, but also on good technical skills and medical knowledge. It requires training of the entire operating room team. The learning curve is steep, involving port placement, use of the correct robotic arms, availability of the proper instrumentation, and proper patient positioning (Tab. 2, Ref. 28).