Man Uses R2-D2 Replica to Help Sick Kids

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Man Uses R2-D2 Replica to Help Sick Kids

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There aren't many things that can cheer a kid up more than a beeping and booping R2-D2 replica.

Maine resident Paul Bussiere was once challenged by a friend to build a replica of Star Wars' R2-D2 to prove that a little man wasn't controlling it from the inside, and he turned the project into a way to cheer up sick kids. After taking four years to construct his own version of the droid, now Bussiere regularly brings it into the Eastern Maine Medical Center pediatrics unit, where it has become a special visitor.

Building an advanced droid like R2-D2 may have been complicated in decades past, but isn't anymore thanks to the internet. Bussiere says "I stumbled onto an R2-D2 builders [Web] page. I've always been a computer person, so I thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool to build something like that? How hard can it be?"

There are multiple groups out there dedicated to building R2-D2 replicas, which is almost a necessity as ordering parts normally requires putting in an order at a machine shop. According to Bussiere: "You need to accumulate 40 to 50 specific parts. Then you use the standardized blueprint and all the pieces fit together."

Bussiere is a help desk associate at the Eastern Main Medical Center, so after he completed his R2-D2 he came up with the idea to use it to elevate more than his own spirits. He now brings his replica into the hospital, where it's first inspected and disinfected, and brings it around to visit sick children, whom usually request a special visit. The R2-D2 has extra safety features as it's used around kids, but it has authentic sounds and plays 90 songs stored in a hard drive.

George Lucas won't be bashing down Bussiere's door anytime soon, because Bussiere says his and other replica R2-D2s are authorized by Lucasfilm "as long as we're not trying to make a profit." On the contrary, Bussiere has spent more than $5,000 to build his R2-D2, and he's not done yet. Bussiere's next goal is to figure out a way to make the droid project a representation of Princess Leia's holographic plea for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi shown in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I have a feeling his droid might be even more entertaining for kids than Lucasfilm's upcoming animated series.

Source: Maineville

Thanks for the submission ThaBenMan!

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See George? This is how you make Star Wars awesome again. Use the Force to help kids, not to sell them awful media.

Using the Force to help people and make happy for all is the way to go. Instead Lucas is using the Schwartz and uses his Star Wars idea just for money. This is why he's called Franchisiside.

Someone help fund this guy so he can finish it! This is the best thing done with Star Wars in years.

Nerds and Geeks helping people, maybe this will show people that we are not a violent video gaming race like so many other think we are.

On Topic: Use the force to help sick kids and not make any profits off of it. That is what George Lucas should be doing.

Imagine that. You're feeling like crap, you're parents are getting all worried, you don't know what's going on... then R2-D2 pops in and goes "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."

Almost as good as all that ice cream you get to eat, amrite kids?

This guy is amazing, he should receive some kind of award!

Paul Bussiere: +50 Light Side Points

This is very cool (and in my hometown, no less! I have to try to go see it sometime). I can't wait to see how the hologram projector turns out!

Sparrow:
Imagine that. You're feeling like crap, you're parents are getting all worried, you don't know what's going on... then R2-D2 pops in and goes "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."

Almost as good as all that ice cream you get to eat, amrite kids?

I can just imagine a number of kids jumping out of bed...
"Screw this illness, the princess needs my help! Maybe Ben Kenobi knows something about this Obi-Wan fellow..."

Hmm... maybe not, but I can dream right?

Okay, everyone say it with me: D'awwww...

This is possibly the most heartwarmingly nerdy thing I have ever come across (and I'm not using "nerdy" in a pejorative sense), and I wish this guy well in his future endeavours. Because, well, what he's doing is just plain brilliant. :)

This guy is awesome! When I was a kid if R2-D2 visited me I'd be feeling better on the spot :D

Rock on Paul! This is truly a wonderful thing right here.

And now I'm not so worried about massive corporate exploitations anymore :D

Eh, the guy is obviously a pedophile. I mean he has been spotted within 10 meter distance of a kid - that's proof enough.

Sorry. I think I read too many articles about people being wrongfully accused of pedophilia for no good reason. I'm making a report on that for my Sociology course.

All jokes aside, that guy is an epitome of awesome. Wish there were more like him. Of course, than 80% of them would have to deal with being constantly accused of pedophilia... Damn it... I'll stop now...

RedMenace:
Eh, the guy is obviously a pedophile. I mean he has been spotted within 10 meter distance of a kid - that's proof enough.

Sorry. I think I read too many articles about people being wrongfully accused of pedophilia for no good reason. I'm making a report on that for my Sociology course.

Message me when its done. I want to read it.

OT: Pfft. C3PO would be so much cooler. He talks and is funny.

Many people constantly say they "lose faith in humanity". Well what do you have to say about that, huh? HUH?

This is one of those heartwarming things that you simply cannot resist. Just like the Force persuasion.

The Force is strong with this one.

STAR WARS: Helping the children of the world one robot at a time....

Good for him. He turned coming his likes into something to make sick children feal better. He's one of my new heros.

ThaBenMan:
Paul Bussiere: +50 Light Side Points

Well, the guy spent five grand of his own money to put it together and then decided that the best use for his investment was to cheer up sick children on his own time... maybe we can bump that up to 100?

internetzealot1:
The Force is strong with this one.

Best Comment I've Seen Today. Good on you.

OT: The second R2-D2 and sick-children and the word help comes in makes whoever made this a Hero.

The Rogue Wolf:

ThaBenMan:
Paul Bussiere: +50 Light Side Points

Well, the guy spent five grand of his own money to put it together and then decided that the best use for his investment was to cheer up sick children on his own time... maybe we can bump that up to 100?

Yep! I'd vote for +100 light side points, he earned it!

This guy is the new Patch Adams!

Now if he can build C-3PO and have them both go through a conversation that would be perfect.

That is awesome, and it's great what he's doing with it.

This warms my heart.

Seriously, it's nice to know there's some decent people on this planet.

Man deserves a gold medal for this.
Too bad I'm too old to get sick and a visit from R2D2 :(

That is just plain brilliant. I know some hospitals already have clowns visiting sick children to make them feel better but R2-D2 trumps clowns any day!

This guy has heart.

I would love to own that, lol.

Makes me wisgh I was still a child again at times!

The_root_of_all_evil:
See George? This is how you make Star Wars awesome again. Use the Force to help kids, not to sell them awful media.

Everyone knows that Lucas was drawn to the darkside of selling out years ago.

He's more machine now than man; twisted and evil.

Thats just pure win right there.

See, see! there is hope for humanity (or at least some of it)
Some guy does what he loves, and now uses it to help other.
YOu sir, are awesome, two thumbs up!

Kollega:
This is one of those heartwarming things that you simply cannot resist.

I completely agree. This is an absolutely wonderful thing that he's done for those kids. If I'd been sick and in a hospital, seeing R2-D2 come through the door would have made my day week year. Hell, it still would.

The campaign for an award starts here!

Kuchinawa212:

The Rogue Wolf:

ThaBenMan:
Paul Bussiere: +50 Light Side Points

Well, the guy spent five grand of his own money to put it together and then decided that the best use for his investment was to cheer up sick children on his own time... maybe we can bump that up to 100?

Yep! I'd vote for +100 light side points, he earned it!

Sure! It's been a long time since I've played a KOTOR game - I figured 50 was a lot to get at once. But 100 works too - he definitely deserves it!

bobknowsall:
Okay, everyone say it with me: D'awwww...

This is possibly the most heartwarmingly nerdy thing I have ever come across (and I'm not using "nerdy" in a pejorative sense), and I wish this guy well in his future endeavours. Because, well, what he's doing is just plain brilliant. :)

d'awwww...

(lol first thing that popped into my head before seeing your comment haha)

Paul is a friend of mine. I have seen this project from the first days he was playing with drawings of it. The article is great. But it doesn't go far enough to describe the effect Pau's R2-D2 has on the people that see it.

I believe Paul introduced his R2-D2 to the public was last Halloween (2009). People came in waves to see it. They ran out of candy from all the Trick or Treat 'ers that came for a peek at the little movie star. I went to a local store for more candy to hand out, and discovered parents at the store were telling other parents to go by this house because 'this guy has a real R2-D2."

Parents brough their kids for pictures with it. Most of the parents barely remember the first Star Wars movie in the theaters and most of the kids were not born yet. Everyone that came by was awed with the metal movie star. The looks on the kids faces was nothing short of magic. These were neighborhood kids, and the effect was powerful. I can only imagine the effect on kids stuck in a hospial. This goes well beyond a good thing. It's more like something -- special.

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