Rex Bionics…the robot that enhances the mobility of wheelchair users

  • Posted

Posted 15/03/2016

Following the high level of interest from our delegates at the Ashtons Legal Case Management conference, here is some more information from one of our fantastic exhibitors: Rex Bionics and their famous REX robotic walking device.

About Rex Bionics

Rex Bionics is the pioneer of the REX Robot that enhances the mobility of wheelchair users and was founded in Auckland, New Zealand by two robotics engineers with first-hand experience of wheelchair users and their needs.

REX is the world’s first hands-free, self-supporting, independently-controlled robotic walking device. The device does not require crutches or a walking frame to provide stability, leaving the hands free and can be used by people with a complete spinal cord injury who are paralysed from the waist downwards. REX is 100% self-supporting, designed to be inherently stable and supportive of the shoulders.

Rex Bionics is working with physiotherapists to develop the concept and practice of Robot-Assisted Physiotherapy (RAP). In a session of RAP, REX lifts patients from a sitting position into a robot-supported standing position, allowing them to take part in a set of supported walking and stretching exercises, designed by specialist physiotherapists.

In addition, REX P (the personal device for use in the home), enables users to walk and stand with their hands free – providing more work and recreation options.

Wheelchair users are at risk of developing numerous medical complications from extended periods of sitting. By enabling them to spend more time standing, walking and exercising, REX may offer significant health benefits, including improved sleep and maintenance of joint range, and a reduction in spasm, pain, common abdominal problems and prescription drug use.

A programme of “RAPPER” clinical trials is now under way to evaluate these potential benefits and a positive interim analysis of the RAPPER II data was presented on 27th November 2015. Recruitment for RAPPER II remains open and clinics and individuals can send enquiries to

REX has, until now, been most commonly used by wheel chair users with a spinal cord injury, but has also been used by people who have suffered a stroke or other traumatic brain injury; and wheel chair users with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.

Case Study – Ben Barnes

‘REX is just awesome, I feel a million times better after being in it, this is going to change everything for me’

A Canterbury man who battled back from life threatening injuries following a Road Traffic Accident becomes the first recipient in the world of a personal injury settlement for purchase of a REX robotic walking device, which will enable him to stand up and walk again. Ben Barnes suffered devastating injuries, which left him paralysed and needing to use a wheelchair. Now following a landmark High Court ruling Ben will this week receive a REX, the world’s first hands-free, self supporting, independently-controlled robotic walking device.

Ben Barnes, 31, suffered life-changing injuries – his back broken in two places, broken ribs and a collapsed lung following a car accident in 2011. Ben was told the devastating news he will never walk again and have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. A chance meeting between his legal team and a leading British neuro-physiotherapist, already using REX with other patients like Ben, led his lawyers, Stewarts Law to contact Rex Bionics, the London based company behind REX to find out more about the device and how it could help their client to walk and exercise.

Ben Barnes says, “Since my car crash in 2011 I have been in a wheelchair. Having been told I would never walk again, you can understand my excitement when I first heard about REX and the freedom it provides for people like me with paralysis. The initial feeling of being upright and at eye level is priceless, not to mention the health benefits. This truly is a life changing piece of technology. The REX will let me walk again and pursue my hobby of car mechanics’’

Ben’s REX is fully ‘made to measure’ and will be delivered to him this week from the factory in New Zealand. Prior to the car accident Ben enjoyed repairing cars, which was almost impossible to do in a wheel chair because he was unable to reach under the bonnet of the car. With REX Ben is now able to not only pursue his hobby but also keep healthy and exercise in REX.

Now that Ben has used his Rex for a couple of days this week at home he said ‘REX is just awesome, I feel a million times better after being in it,this is going to change everything for me’

Debra Leeves, Vice President Rex Bionics said ‘’we are delighted to help Ben and others like him across the country to use REX for standing and mobility in their homes and we are equally looking forward to helping the thousands of other people across the UK who may be undergoing rehabilitation therapy for spinal injury, stroke or other traumatic brain injury and may benefit from the use of REX for robot assisted physiotherapy at their local rehabilitation hospital or clinic.’’

Click here to find out more about Ben’s story.

For more information about Rex Bionics, go to


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