PPMD’s Robotics Initiative

Ensuring that the world’s of teens and adults with Duchenne ‘grow bigger’, as they grow older by expanding their reach – both literally and figuratively.


Combing your hair. Lifting a glass to your mouth. Washing your hands. Pressing elevator buttons. Zipping a coat. Opening a door. Turning on a light. Shaking a hand. Lifting an object. Increasing privacy in self-care. Giving a hug.

The loss of ability to perform these simple tasks that many people take for granted is one of the toughest aspects of Duchenne. The loss of independence. The need to prevent these losses led to PPMD’s Robotics Initiative.

In 2015 years ago, PPMD launched our community’s robotics program – and the community responded. As a part of this effort, PPMD and UPPMD convened a meeting in London of the world’s top robotics experts who were developing technologies for Duchenne. The purpose of that meeting was to identify opportunities for collaboration, inform innovation, bring a global community together. At that meeting, we also had the opportunity to share the survey data developed by the PAAC and PPMD, and collected from our community around patient preferences and most meaningful activities of daily living.

PPMD is proud to have provided funding support for the ongoing Robotics initiative that includes:

This initiative is really the coming together of extraordinary innovators, whose common denominator was a deep commitment to Duchenne. Teams of biomedical engineers who have tested technology, worked with our community over the past several years and listened to your feedback, gone back into the lab to refined the technology, and are now initiating a new research study to evaluate the functionality of the refined robotic arms.

PPMD supports innovation. We’re excited because the technology we are supporting and the proposals we are reviewing with this initiative, span the needs of the entire Duchenne population. We believe robotic technology will spare muscle deterioration keeping people with Duchenne stronger for longer. Our Robotic Initiative explores devices that have the potential to assist everyone living with Duchenne.

At the heart of each of the robotics programs in the Duchenne space – individually and collectively – are families with Duchenne. We are so grateful to these community experts who have provided insight and helped to make critical improvements to previous technologies.

Thank you to our amazing Duchenne community for supporting PPMD’s robotics program and helping us to innovate and impact every single one in our community.