Buffalo children battling cancer receive robotic ducks to help with treatments


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Roswell Park and Aflac Insurance are teaming up to give children undergoing cancer treatments their very own Aflac Duck, but it’s more than just a toy. The robotic ducks are designed to help children.

The center is calling this a high-tech social robot. The duck uses lifelike movements and emotions to engage and help kids during their cancer care, which could sometimes last more than two and a half years.

During an event on Friday at Roswell, people saw first hand how the ducks operate. After the demonstration patients participated in a scavenger hunt that would lead them to their own robotic duck. Roswell says the ducks will be another tool for the kids.

“These cuddly companions bring comfort and connection to kids that are trying to understand their cancer and to sort of get through their treatments in a little better state,” Roswell Park President and CEO Candace Johnson said. “The My special Aflac duck will help our patients get through their toughest days.”

The ducks comfort the kids by quacking and singing to them.

Before receiving the ducks, Roswell says they conducted more than 18 months of child-centered research with children, parents and medical providers.
The ducks are free and will be distributed to children diagnosed with cancer who are ages three and older.

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