04 Jan Australia’s First Robot-powered Therapy Centre
Physiotherapy in Australia is a growing $2.2 billion industry paving the way for not only the economy but the wellbeing of millions of Australians.
RoboFit is Australia’s very first robot-powered therapy centre that combines the role of in-house exercise physiotherapists with that of Cyberdyne technology – introduced in Japan and the first of its kind down under.
With a waitlist of potential clients travelling across Australia to try the technology for themselves, RoboFit is a culmination of a 10 year long journey for husband-and-wife duo Daniel Hillyer and Marryanne Harris who both contribute to the RoboFit story on a much more personal note. After experiencing a balcony collapse in 2010, Daniel was left with a life altering diagnosis of quadriplegia and doctors informed him that he wouldn’t be able to move from the neck down, a devastating diagnosis that Daniel and Maryanne simply refused to accept. With an exercise science degree behind her, Maryanne became curious about the future of rehabilitation, coming across the promising technology from Cyberdyne, based in Japan. This interest led Daniel and Maryanne to labs and conferences all over the world, and the development of a partnership with Cyberdyne.
“We hit capacity within 6 weeks of opening and knew we had to find a bigger space to fulfil our first initial dream of helping others.” With its presence growing across New Zealand and soon to be open, second RoboFit centre in Sydney’s central Alexandria – RoboFit is paving the way for a partnership in advancing technologies and traditional physiotherapy that sees both activities go hand in hand in delivering incredible results. “We saw huge improvements in my standing balance, walking gait and speed in just 21 days of 2 hours per day training in the exoskeleton using a treadmill and overground practice, I was able to walk 10m supported prior to my HAL training in Japan.”
The RoboFit training regimen is built around “blocks” of sessions. A block is a period of two to four weeks in which a personalised daily training program is undertaken. In between these blocks are maintenance periods, in which clients have a lighter touch frequency of training. We recommend this method of training for two main reasons, the first being that our empirical clinical outcomes have shown it to be effective, the second being that it makes the training more practical for clients.