21 Oct 2013

Rex Bionics plans expansion after UK sale

7:29 am on 21 October 2013

An Auckland company making bionic legs for wheelchair users expects to quadruple in size in the next year after its purchase by UK-based Union MedTech for $18 million.

Rex Bionics produces robotic exoskeletons for about $150,000 each, which enable a wheelchair-bound person to stand up and walk without the use of crutches.

Company's chief executive Richard Little has been fielding thousands of enquiries from around the world for the joystick-operated assisted walking frame.

He hopes the capital injection can boost staff numbers in Auckland expand office space around the world.

Mr Little says after the sale the firm will have resources including experienced medical device staff in the UK and cash to grow and expand.

"We expect that we'll increase our numbers of people in Auckland and move to larger premises very soon, and up production numbers."

He says there are an estimated five million people in Europe and the United States who could use the device, and a proportion of these would be able to afford the walking frame.