RoboFit launches Australia’s first robot powered therapy centre

Maryanne Harris (Left) and Daniel Hillyer (Right), founders of RoboFit

With the mission to contribute to a cure for paralysis, RoboFit is the culmination of a 10 year journey for husband and wife duo Maryanne Harris and Daniel Hillyer – offering Australia’s first neuro-responsive exoskeleton and opening Australia’s first robot powered therapy centre.

What was the inspiration behind RoboFit?

Using cutting-edge tech to redefine rehabilitation by combining exercise physiology and physiotherapy, Cyberdyne’s tech changed founder Daniel’s life, restoring motor and sensory function once thought to be lost forever and proving that you should never say never.

Daniel shares a personal brand story linked to the creation of RoboFit, after experiencing a balcony collapse in 2010. He was left with a life altering diagnosis of quadriplegia, which saw his career as a chef sadly end. 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 promising tech from Cyberdyne, based in Japan. This interest led Daniel and Maryanne to labs and conferences, and finally a partnership with Cyberdyne.

“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,” Daniel commented.

“After our experience of traveling to Japan multiple times to access these devices because there wasn’t anything like it in Australia, we knew it was something we had to do and bring the devices here to Australia for our community to access in a community-based setting.”

What does the new centre mean for RoboFit?

Offering an Australian-first experience, created an instant buzz with the RoboFit team growing, as well as their HQ and future plans. “We hit capacity within 6 weeks of opening. Fitting out a warehouse as Robofit’s HQ and master training centre of the Cyberdyne devices has allowed us to grow as a team and fulfil our dream of helping others,” Daniel said.

They also launched RoboFit during the global pandemic, which was a challenge. “We took the time through lockdowns to train our team members on using the devices and incorporating it as a tool into client sessions and build a successful training program for clients,” Daniel said.

With a waitlist across Australia and clients eager to experience the tech, RoboFit’s presence is growing across the ANZ region with its next centre to open in Sydney in the coming months.