The Starlight Virtual Reality initiative has announced it will be putting 270 virtual reality headsets in hospitals across the United States later this year, with games and VR experiences designed for young patients.

A new Star Wars virtual reality app called Meet BB-8 will be included as part of the program, The Hollywood Reporter reveals, alongside Google Earth VR, Google Expeditions and Tilt Brush. The program will use Google's Daydream VR platform.

Lucasilm's Star Wars: Force for Change charity initiative is a founding sponsor of Starlight Virtual Reality, which is also being part-funded by Google and Niagara Cares.

A demo of Meet BB-8 will be available to attendees at this weekend's (13-16 April) Star Wars Celebration fan convention in Orlando, Florida. The initiative officially launches later today (12 April) at the Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando.

"We're excited to announce the launch of Starlight VR, which we believe will be a game changer in the pediatric health care space," said CEO of Starlight Children's Foundation Chris Helfrich.

"We're excited to have Lucasfilm and Disney, Google and Niagara Cares alongside us as we harness the power of virtual reality to bring more smiles to hospitalised kids when and where they need it most."

The initiative also includes Star Wars-themed "Starlight Brave Gowns" for young patients and there will be celebrity visits as well.

Vicki Dobbs Beck, an executive in charge of Industrial Light and Magic's "immersive entertainment" division ILMxLab, said: "At Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB, we strive to make the impossible, possible and to deliver stories that inspire and entertain.

"We are honored to use our immersive storytelling to spark children's imaginations during the hospital stay."

The latest Star Wars Force for Change campaign was launched yesterday by Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley, the stars of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is set to release in cinemas this December.

Force for Change will this year offer fundraisers the chance to win a trip to Skywalker Ranch, a role in the Han Solo spin-off film currently in production and tickets to the premier of The Last Jedi.

Star Wars Meet BB-8
Meet BB-8 has been developed by ILMxLAB Lucasfilm