Sproutel

Children Battling Cancer Can’t Always Express Their Feelings. Now a Robotic Duck Is Doing It for Them.

By Peter Holley
Article

It was hard enough that Savi Abdallah-Sinha was only a 2-year-old when he began undergoing chemotherapy treatment to rid his body of leukemia.

What made his situation even more difficult, his parents say, was knowing that the little boy was so young he lacked the words to communicate the many varieties of acute pain he was experiencing. Each time a new drug was introduced or a round of treatment completed, the boy’s inner world remained largely mysterious to the adults caring for him.

My Special Aflac Duck® Makes Landing at CHOC Children's Hospital, Patients Receive Robotic Duck Designed to Help Them Cope with Cancer

Press Release

ORANGE, Calif., June 12, 2019 /3BL Media/ - Aflac, the leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites, delivered My Special Aflac Ducks to patients at CHOC Children's Hospital. My Special Aflac Duck, designed by Sproutel, is a social robot that uses medical play, lifelike movement, and emotions to engage and help comfort kids during cancer treatment.

Partners in Purpose: My Special Aflac Duck is Helping Kids With Cancer

Multimedia with summary

On average, children with cancer will spend 1,000 days undergoing treatment. Knowing this can be a scary and difficult time for young patients, Aflac partnered with Sproutel to develop "My Special Aflac Duck." The duck is designed to be a comfort and help children share their emotions. The robotic companion recently earned SXSW's People Choice Award in the Robotics & Hardware category in addition to previous accolades from TIME Magazine and Engadget. 

Video | Leveraging Technology for Authentic Social Purpose: My Special Aflac Duck

Multimedia with summary

What does Aflac’s iconic duck have to do with kids facing cancer? Knowing the power of companionship, Aflac paired its brand icon with the latest in social robotics to evolve the company's impact on pediatric cancer. In this panel discussion from the BRITE ’19 Conference, the creators behind My Special Aflac Duck® discuss how insights from this initiative can help any brand leverage existing assets, rethink long-term commitments, and boldly embrace innovation to advance purpose. 

“RI Tech and Innovation Report”— Big Win at SXSW by Sproutel, Slater and More

by Rebecca Keister, Tech Contributor, Go Local Prov
Article

The people have spoken.

Not only did Sproutel take home the top award in the Robotics and Hardware category at the 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Presented by KPMG, but the company—along with their co-creators—also took home the people’s choice award for the My Special Aflac Duck, a “comforting companion” for children with cancer.

My Special Aflac Duck™ Wins Big at SXSW

Innovative robotic duck takes top honors in the People’s Choice and the Robotics and Hardware categories at premier conference Celebrating the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries
Press Release

COLUMBUS, Ga., March 12, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Taking home yet another major award for technology, innovation and corporate responsibility, Aflac today announced the My Special Aflac Duck, an innovative robotic duck that helps children cope with cancer, is the winner of this year’s top Award at SXSW in the Robotics and Hardware category. The prestigious SXSW award is added to a growing list of awards, which includes Engaget’s Best in Show Award at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show and Time Magazine’s recognition as one of the 50 Best inventions for 2018.

VIDEO | My Stuffed Animal Has Cancer Just Like Me

Article

Aaron Horowitz, CEO of Sproutel and inventor of the My Special Aflac Duck, discusses his passion for helping children with serious illnesses and how working with the Aflac Duck has enabled him to apply his talents for a great purpose.

Visit NYPost.com to watch the video and read the full article.

About Aflac

A ‘Special’ Day for Children at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Patients at Atlanta Hospital are First to Receive My Special Aflac Duck™
Press Release

ATLANTA, Ga., September 14, 2018 /3BL Media/ – Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at U.S. worksites, today delivered the very first My Special Aflac DucksTM to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Aflac Toy Robot for Kids Faces Cancer With Real Feelings

Emotional support robot duck helping children going through chemo
Article

Aflac has teamed up with robotics toy company Sproutel to create My Special Aflac Duck, a technology that offers emotional support to kids with cancer.

Kids can feed, bathe and even administer chemotherapy to the ducks that can respond to touch.

“Medical play can be really therapeutic,” Sproutel CEO Aaron Horowitz told FOX Business on “Mornings with Maria.” “It gives them this feeling of control. They have this friend that’s going through this treatment right alongside me.”

New Sponsorship Pairs Aflac and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals 
to Help Defeat Childhood Cancer

Sponsorship focuses on #ChildrensHospitalsWeek and popular Dance Marathon events across the country as Aflac introduces My Special Aflac DuckTM to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals community
Press Release

COLUMBUS, Ga. – March 8, 2018 /3BL Media/– Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States and a committed corporate ally for families facing childhood cancer, today announced an agreement with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® (CMN Hospitals) to sponsor several key CMN Hospitals events throughout the year, including the second annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, which is this week.

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