Managing Type 1 diabetes isn’t an easy task for children, but now Jerry the Bear is here to help them understand their condition and learn how to take better care of themselves. Designed by Northwestern University students Hannah Chung and Aaron Horowitz as a Design for America project, the soft plush teddy bear features insulin injection sites, a glucose-level display and blinking eyes. The goal is for kids to monitor Jerry’s health and keep him in good standing, and at the same time they’ll learn the importance of regular insulin injections and how to give them. Keep reading to see a video of this robotic teddy bear in action.
When Jerry the Bear’s blood glucose levels get low his eyelids droop and the display on his chest indicates the drop. Kids can use the included toy injection pen to give Jerry an insulin shot or they can feed him pretend foods (which sensors in his mouth will recognize) to help him manage his insulin levels. Beyond learning about their condition, kids can also find comfort in having a plush friend that has diabetes, since they likely don’t have friends going through the same thing.
While you can’t buy Jerry just yet, the electronic diabetes bear should be available in 2013 from a start up company called Sproutel, which hopes to make a range of toys to help kids manage other health conditions such as asthma and obesity.