The Aflac duck isn't just a duck on TV that quacks its companies name—it's now a real life robot duck created to help kids face cancer. My Special Aflac Duck was introduced at CES, and it definitely lives up to its name.
Aflac teamed up with health and research company Sproutel (maker of Jerry the Bear for kids with type 1 diabetes) to design a robotic comfort toy to help kids being treated for cancer.
Sproutel spent a year exploring what it's like for kids living with cancer, their parents, and medical professionals. Through their research, they were able to create the duck that's the perfect mix between a toy, a robot, and a medical device.
The duck has five touch sensors, making its movements completely lifelike. It dances, nuzzles, cuddles, and even has breath and heartbeat.
Kids can touch any of the RFID-enabled emoji cards on the duck's chest to express how they think the duck is feeling, which is usually a representation of their own feelings. The duck will emulate those feelings with a happy quack and dance or a sad quack with a droopy head. This gives kids a sense of having control over their feelings at a time when everything else is completely out of their control.
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There's a chemotherapy PICC line attached to the chest sensor, allowing kids be there for their furry friend as it goes through the same treatment as them.
The duck costs around $200, but Aflac has committed to donating the ducks to any child with a recent cancer diagnoses.
Learn more about the Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign here.