A New Zealand-based technology company has today unveiled a robotic exoskeleton which could change the lives of disabled people.

Rex, short for Robotic Exoskeleton, was developed over four years and had its first public demonstration in Auckland today.

The company behind the technology, Rex Bionics, is understood to have kept the project under wraps since 2006.

Its official website said only that it had designed a disability aid using "the latest robotic techniques" but offered little other information.

In a video posted to YouTube to coincide with the launch, Hayden Allen explained how he hadn't walked for five years before using Rex.

"Once you know the functionality and the movement of the actual legs, (using) it becomes extremely easy," he says on the video.

"When I told the doctors, when I had the accident, that I was going to walk again, I didn't think I was going to walk in a robot."