2017 Playford Trust PhD Scholarship
Robbie is now working as a Research Fellow at the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI) – a national leader in industry and workplace innovation research – and he’s based at Flinders University. He has been a member of AITI’s multi-disciplinary team since completing his PhD in late 2022.
Robbie has a diverse range of research interests centred around exoskeletons and human performance measurement and rehabilitation. His PhD work focused on the control of ambulating exoskeletons to improve outcomes in gait rehabilitation for victims of stroke – and this work is continuing.
He says his work involving lower limb exoskeletons was the perfect primer for developing a specialty in upper body exoskeletons. However, he’s now applying it in industrial settings, to support workers and reduce the occurrence of muscular-skeletal disorders, a major contributor to workplace injury and quality of life.
All exoskeleton interventions demand assessment to demonstrate efficacy, and learning the tools involved in human performance measurement was the “perfect platform” for Robbie’s employment at the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute. His expertise in physiological performance measurement was used in a human participant trial, run through the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre, which looked at both how people interact with varying and collaborating technologies and how they respond physiologically.
Robbie is continuing his research through several projects, including the continuation of his PhD work, and he’s also formally mentoring a network of students. He works with major defence and manufacturing companies, and says he is always able to bring a creative lens to the problems the world is facing. His future goals are “all things exoskeleton and physiological measurement” – with a side-serving of supervision, his passion.