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Meet the robot duck that could help children with cancer

A robotic My Special Aflac Duck, for children facing cancers, is demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, US Jan. 7, 2018. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)
The My Special Aflac Duck for children facing cancer is seen on display during the CES Unveiled preview event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during CES 2018 in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2018. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)
LAS VEGAS: A plush, robotic duck may soon become a fixture in the world of children with cancer. The social robot can be silly, happy, angry, scared or sick just like them, and help them cope with their illness through the power of play.
Aaron Horowitz was diagnosed with a debilitating condition as a child. He and his Rhode Island-based company Sproutel developed the emotional support robot to help children manage stress and change the way they deal with their health.
The American Cancer Society says almost 11,000 US children are diagnosed with cancer yearly.
The duck is modeled after the mascot for insurance company Aflac, which paid for its development. Beginning later this year, the ducks will be distributed free to kid patients.
The duck’s expected to be featured Monday at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

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