Jerry the Bear, Design for America’s very first design for social impact project, is making the leap from product prototype to development and testing!





He’s DFA’s own cuddly robotic and interactive health education toy for children living with Type 1 diabetes.  And he’s got his own Jerry the Bear website and he has started blogging at his own Jerry the Bear blog (you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook too!  This bear is an unusual ursus roboticus!)

This Winter 2012, Dell Social Innovation Fellow Aaron Horowitz and DFA Student Co-Founder Hannah Chung will be moving (temporarily!) to Providence, Rhode Island so that they can work on Jerry full-time!  (But never fear, DFA colleagues, we have roped them into promising to visit the DFA RISD/BROWN studio often!)

Born in 2009 as a creative idea for the 2009 DiabetesMine competition, Jerry was created to answer the design question, How can we help diabetic children care for themselves?

Every year, 186,000 children in the US are diagnosed with diabetes. Jerry the Bear prepares children for the lifestyle changes they will experience. Children learn how to take care of themselves by taking care of Jerry the Bear with diabetes, giving insulin shots, monitoring his diet and measuring glucose levels.

Because DFA is ALL about iteration and learning, we wanted to share more about the history of Jerry, and his gradual development.  If you ever wonder, “How do these projects begin, anyway?” this video series showing Jerry from Post-It to Prototype is for you!

An early video describing the concept of Jerry the Bear (Winter 2009):

Yuri Malina talks about the history of Jerry:

Mert Iseri talks about the history of Jerry:

Core Team decides to pursue a prototype  (June 2010):

Core team deep in initial prototype phase (November 2010):

A video showing the early Jerry prototype, and meeting the Jerry prototype team (April 2011):


Aaron walks us through Jerry the Bear 2.0 (August 2011):

Aaron talks about how working on Jerry and DFA have influenced his education (October 2011):

The latest from Jerry, Hannah & Aaron (October 2011):