'Star Wars' replica brings smiles to hospital
BANGOR, Maine -- A Maine man's project turned into a "Star Wars" surprise for sick children.
Paul Bussiere built a replica of R2D2 on friend’s challenge. Now the droid is bringing a positive force to Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Bussiere says ever since R2D2 made his debut last Thanksgiving, the star of "Star Wars" has become quite the legend on the pediatric floor of Eastern Maine Medical Center -- and not just with the kids.
"The kids you understand how they're going to respond. It's the adults that are my favorite. I've had people break down into tears. It's like watching someone meet a movie star for the first time,” Bussiere said.
"It brings a smile. They're already bummed out because they're going to be stuck in the hospital for the day. And so when they came in and said R2 was going to be here, Zack was pretty excited to see him,” said one patient’s mother.
R2, as he's called for short, is the biggest project yet for Paul. And, nearly five years later, the technical guru still calls it a work in progress.
"This guy has a little netbook inside, and I wrote the software that has all his little sounds. There's a servo card that controls all his little motors. And, as the kids make more suggestions and more ideas come across, I keep on adding more and more to the program,” Bussiere said.
Bussiere said the patients’ responses make it time well spent.
"It's just great to bring a smile to an otherwise not very smiley area of the hospital. It's just one of those things where, it's like, wow, you know, that's really, really cool," he said.
(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)