Aflac and Sproutel showcased the cuddly robotic duck at CES 2018 and won the award for “Tech for a Better World”
Health insurance company Aflac and robotics company Sproutel created My Special Aflac Duck, a robotic duck that helps sick kids cope with the challenges that come with being in treatment for cancer. It won the award for “Tech for a Better World” at CES 2018.
This adorable duck has all sorts of interactive features. It’s fuzzy and able to give hugs, plus kids can use its RFID chip reader with emotion badges to help communicate when they are feeling good, sad or sick. The duck comes with a doctor’s bag that includes toy versions of implements used in treatments, like syringes, so doctors and caregivers can mimic treatments on the duck to reassure kids who are scared.
My Special Aflac Duck can also take on the role of patient so kids can take on the role of caregiver and feel more empowered about how they’re dealing with their illness. When the duck is in its IV setting, he pulses gently to help kids remember their breathing exercises. Finally, kids can select a soundscape—such as a rainforest, amusement park or garden—for the duck to emit to transport them to a happier frame of mind.
Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks describes how the incredible feats of biology can be integrated into human-driven design. For more head over to psfk.com