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A closer look at how a robot duck comforts kids with cancer

WARNING: Prepare for your heart to melt. One of the best robots at CES was 'My Special Aflac Duck.' Here are pictures of the cute animatronic critter designed to help children face cancer.

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Patrick Holland

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1 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

My Special Aflac Duck

Sproutel a health and research company teamed up with the insurance company Aflac to create a social robot duck as a companion for children going through cancer treatment.

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2 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Chest sensor

On the duck's chest is a circular sensor and light letting kids use "feeling cards" to change the ducks mood and behaviors.

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3 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Feeling cards

The "feeling cards" are RFID-enabled circular discs with emojis on them. The one shaped like a rocket ship triggers the duck to play calming sounds.

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4 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Picc line

There is even a PICC line that can be attached to the duck.

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5 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Chemotherapy

This allows the duck to receive chemotherapy medicine helping kids feel less scared about receiving their own.

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6 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Removable plushness

The duck is covered in a cuddly plush coat that is removable and can be washed.

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7 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A naked robot duck

Under the coat is the body of the robot.

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8 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A naked robot duck

The duck's movements are natural. It even has a breath and a heartbeat.

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9 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Chest sensor and light

Here's the chest sensor with the light on. It's a bit reminiscent of E.T.'s belly.

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10 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Light sensor and microphone

On the head is a light sensor and microphone that adapt to different environments and adjust the duck's behavior accordingly.

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11 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Simply adorable

This cute guy costs $200 (around £150, AU$255), but Aflac is donating one at no cost to any children newly diagnosed with cancer.

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12 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Will the real Aflac duck please stand up?

The real Aflac duck made an appearance at CES, too. For more on the My Special Aflac Duck check out my first take.

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