RePurpose For Good: Robotic Empowerment and STEAM for Every Body

By Cyn

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So it's early 2017...

An award winning robotics engineer, a biomedical engineer, a sustainability officer, a communications powerhouse and a designer walk into a bar....All lookin' to use their skills for good and chase their purpose. They all got lucky. 



This team of big thinkers have been working on a purposeful, practical and educational project with global potential for amputees and children everywhere. 

It's about turning plastic waste into moving gold.

Making disabled people, ABLE. 

Teaching STEAM education to children all across Australia. 

Empowering tens of thousands of Aussie battlers. 

Increasing employability.

Increasing knowledge.

So, generally, all the things!



We're putting cutting-edge technology literally at the fingertips (and toe tips!) of those who need it most. 


Keen to know more? Read on. Chip in. Join us!


The problem


1 in 1000 people in Australia have suffered limb loss.


Higher than you thought? Yeah, we were shocked too.


This translates to more than 20,000 people that currently have the unenviable task of finding prosthetics that fit, are comfortable, and work well. That's AFTER the huge mental curve of learning how to move around again after the limb loss. 


It's a pain in the limb

Most  of these 20,000 Aussies have amputations below or above the knee. For those with external prothetics (ones that slip onto the leg, not into a surgically inserted connection), they're reporting low satisfaction and comfort with their prosthetics.* They rub, wear, and move unnaturally. Many are static, essentially a prop to keep one upright. Ouch. 

It's a pain in the career

Employment is an incredibly important part of everyone's lives, for security, a sense of purpose, achievement, mental and social health, and being part of a community. An ill-fitting prosthetic - or none at all - has a hugely negative impact on employability and health. 


It's critical that we help

So it's critical that we help as many amputees and limbless people become able-bodied. They've got heaps to get on with! They just need comfort and ease. 


..and it doesn't hurt

to mix up this massive goal with whiz-bang tech, sustainability and the bouncing energy of kids learning stuff they love! 



Here’s what we’re doing about it


Our three part plan is simple. 

1. Making super gnarly eco robotic prosthetics

We are building robotic prosthetics. These electronic, robotic limbs (feet, hands) will fuse the engineering precision with repurposed 3D printed waste plastic, and upcycled e-waste such as wires and computer motherboards.

They will move, grip, and respond to their owner. They are robotic, not static, opening up a world of movement and action for amputees. 


Using Precious Plastic machines, we can grind down waste plastic and turn it into a valuable commodity - the framework of our prosthetics. Bottle caps, packaging, old toys and marine plastics can be melted and extruded, or 3D printed, into any shape imaginable. 

The electronic waste will be reused to power and control the prosthetic with a high level of control and dexterity.




Plus they'll look really cool.



2. We'll teach what we do to as many kids in Australia as we can


With your help, we can get REALLY purposeful here in Step 2. This project is a perfect hotbed for interesting and engaging STEAM education.

S.T.E.A.M - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths - is the education of the future. The Australian Government has been vocal in it's desire to have every child in Australia learning these subjects and building careers in these fields, pouring over $12 million into STEAM initiatives in schools. (and no, alas, we don't have any of that money.)


So this is a memorable way to do it. Imagine being a child and building a high tech prosthetic that will help someone they can actually see using it! Awesome!  


The Re:Purpose For Good Project is in prime position and we're ready to teach. Our team has decades of combined education experience, with our careers dedicated to teaching the STEAM subjects, design, sustainable practices and leadership.


We're combining engineering with empathy, and teaching the adults of the future that sustainability is much more than trees.  


3. Then we're taking this GLOBAL


This is a crowdsourced project, a community initiative and a nationwide knowledge share - so why would we keep this to ourselves?! 


We're making this open source education system free for everyone around the world. 


We'll know we've made it when amputees in the worlds biggest cities and smallest villages are all moving with ease using a Repurpose For Good prosthetic, made by them, for them.

You can join us

We need to raise money for the equipment, a space to work in, some materials, and to get the word out. 

It costs about $2,000 to make a robotic prosthetic, and $13,000 to all the machinery we need to finish our prototype and upscale.

We hope, with your help, to raise at least $15,000.

We had a thought - it'd be kinda cool if you could donate a dollar for each hundred or thousand steps you take in a day or a week. That's a bit of fun. 

But if you can't be bothered counting your steps - or walking! - throw us a denomination ending in as many 0's as you can spare. 

Can you help us spread the word? Chip in to the kitty? Both? Be a bloody legend and help us any way you can. 


And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t 'limb' without


For a $20 donation
You give us the warm and fuzzies! Please include your insta handle so we can give you a shout out  - @repurposeforgood

For a $50 donation
We'll clean up a local area in your honour! Don't forget to let us know you who are. @repurposeforgood

For a $100 donation
A Re:Purpose For Good Tote Bag

For a $250 donation
3D printed self-watering planter; plus a Re:Purpose For Good Tote Bag

For a $500 donation
We'll clean an entire beach for you and use certain plastic to make prosthetics! 3D printed self-watering planter; plus a Re:Purpose For Good Tote Bag

For a $1000 donation
Well, you absolute legend, we'll have to organise some serious fun to say 'Thanks'! We'll put on a community event in the maker space to get your crew into the action.
+ We'll clean an entire beach for you and use certain plastic to make prosthetics!
+ 3D printed self-watering planter
+ A Re:Purpose For Good Tote Bag

For a $2000 + donation
Wow, a Mega Supporter!!! We'll artistically engrave your name on our machines, acknowledge your legendary support on the wall of the centre and online, and we'll create a scale model prosthetic for your office or mantlepiece. Plus all the other cool stuff we said!







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    Offline donation

Team Members


Belinda Bean

Caitlin Scullin

Gerardo Alan

Sara Rickards