Rehab robot leads to better patient health

ROBERT is a neurorehabilitation robot owned by Queensland start-up, Innovative Rehab Technologies.

A one-of-a-kind in Australia, ROBERT offers both lower and upper limb robotic rehab assistance to aid recovery and achieve better patient outcomes.

The robot is on trial with a major Queensland hospital to determine its value to staff and patients.

Owner of Innovative Rehab Technologies Daniel Carter says the exposure they have received through their Membership with ARM Hub has helped to fast-track their success.

Why we need robots like ROBERT

Australia faces a notable shortage of therapists to undertake patient rehabilitation. This scarcity is more pronounced in regional and remote areas, which is significantly impacting the delivery of healthcare services.

Innovative Rehab Technologies founder Dan Carter says the shortage means patients can’t access the high doses of therapy they need to recover.

“High-dose, intensive therapy is required during neurorehabilitation to help patients recover their movement effectively. As an example, stroke patients may need to undertake 300 repetitions of one movement alone as part of their therapy. Currently, most people are only doing 50 repetitions per day,” Mr Carter said.


Made in Denmark by Life Science Robotics, ROBERT is a mobile upper and lower limb rehabilitation robot that allows clinicians to deliver high repetition therapy to help with neurological rehabilitation and reduce deconditioning during hospital stays.

Robots like ROBERT allow a service to deliver hundreds of repetitions of controlled functional movements each day which would otherwise not be possible without extreme staffing pressure.

Because it is mobile, ROBERT can be used throughout a hospital, on wards, in rehabilitation, or with outpatients. It is also simple to set up which allows allied health assistants and nurse to potentially be active in delivering care to patients, freeing up physiotherapists and occupational therapists to treat more patients.

It is the only unit available that provides EMG triggered functional electrical stimulation to assist in movement therapy. This is key to optimising patient treatment as therapy can be started very early when they only have “flickers” of muscle activation. The unit senses these flickers and then stimulates that muscle to activate while the robot assists them on a path of movement programmed by the therapist.

“Robert is not replacing jobs. Rather, the robot is part of a strategy to help workforce sustainability and efficiency,” Mr Carter said.

Hospital trial

Innovative Rehab Technologies was approached by the Queensland hospital to trial the robot with staff for one month with a view to purchasing their own ROBERT.

Over the month, ROBERT will be used by the staff to assess how well it can perform functional movements with patients and also see how easy it will be to integrate into their current service model.

Once completed, it will begin a new trial at a facility on the Sunshine Coast.

Innovative Rehab Technologies and parent company Life Science Robotics have also been approached by a world leader in occupational therapy and rehabilitation research to collaborate on a research project to further develop the upper limb software with them.

How ROBERT the Robot works

ROBERT can be attached to a patient’s upper or lower limb. The therapist can then press a button and program a specific movement, such as bringing a glass up to the patient’s mouth.

They then set how many repetitions the patient must perform and whether they do the movement assisted by the robot, actively with the robot just supporting the weight of the limb, or with resistance.

Multiple different movements and sets / reps can be programmed into a treatment session that the patient can then undertake with supervision while the clinician treats other patients nearby.

About Innovative Rehab Technologies

Innovative Rehab Technologies joined the ARM Hub as a Start-up Member in September 2023.

Founded by Dan and Mel Carter, the couple jointly purchased Robert with Stable Orthopaedics for release in Australia.

“The trials are a big step forward for us as we expected it to take some time before we were able to attract industry attention,” Mr Carter said.

“It is through the ARM Hub that we have been visible to industry, which has cut the time taken for us to enter the market from years to six months.”

Success story: Direct air capture technology

Southern Green Gas was founded by Rohan Gillespie in 2018, after he identified a gap in the energy processes and technology that was being used to make use of carbon in a positive light.

The company has developed Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make it available for subsequent sequestration, or as a component in several sustainable production pathways. This includes being transformed into renewable fuels.

Its success has attracted investment from former Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AC, who will provide counsel on policy and commercialisation of its technology.

ARM Hub is playing an integral role in the scaling and growth of Southern Green Gas, as it looks to commercialise its product for companies the world over to use.

The industry challenge

Carbon dioxide is at 420ppm in our atmosphere – the highest level ever recorded. While government and industry have set emission targets, they are designed to reduce future emissions. They do not address the existing rates of carbon dioxide.

Southern Green Gas set out to reduce current emissions to a healthy goal (below 400ppm) and to build a solution that ensures carbon dioxide can be repurposed, or sequestered underground and locked away, essentially forever.

The solution

Southern Green Gas, in partnership with University of Sydney, has found a way to not only capture the carbon dioxide, but also to sequester it or include it in sustainable products.

This includes working to minimise the energy demand so it can operate in remote, arid areas of Australia, or overseas without infrastructure support.

The team is now working to commercialise its technology in a way that’s cost-effective for potential customers.

Southern Green Gas is working closely with AspiraDAC to complete the DAC module at ARM Hub.

The company has built a triangular module (DAC Tent) on a square base, which contains a series of canisters and houses solar panels for sustainable energy supply.

It works as a technology tree, drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air is passed over a specific surface coating, in canisters, capturing the carbon dioxide until a desorption phase releases the concentrated gas for further use.

It can be immediately sequestered underground, or stored for subsequent use in the production of e-fuels, as a food additive or as a supplement for enhanced horticulture.


Southern Green Gas is building three of its module units at ARM Hub’s state-of-the-art Brisbane facility.

The next step is to upgrade the design based on the learnings from the current module, before starting to build the units at scale for commercial production and sale.

Southern Green Gas is also looking at opportunities to deploy the DAC modules in arid locations that have low traditional economic value, yet high solar presence.

The company is very aware that for CO2 to be reduced from our current unsustainable levels, we must address the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, not just what is planned to be emitted in future.

Partnering with ARM Hub

The team was introduced to ARM Hub through a business associate at a time when the company was looking for a space to continue to build and test its module.

As a tenant, the company has had the opportunity to work collaboratively with ARM Hub’s world-leading experts and advisors in robotics, artificial intelligence, and design.

ARM Hub has also offered extensive, high-value networking opportunities; with its reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing, ARM Hub regularly hosts international, national, and state industry and government delegations.

Southern Green Gas has leveraged ARM Hub’s network to identify key university contacts that have assisted with the company’s technology focus. The ARM Hub international community also provided specific expertise.

Locally, the facilities in the ARM Hub have been a bonus to Southern Green Gas with meeting venues and administrative support.