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Apple’s Daisy Robot Recovers Valuables Materials

Apple's Daisy Robot Recovers Valuables Materials
Apple’s Daisy Robot Recovers Valuables Materials

Apple introduces Daisy, a new robot that disassembles iPhone to recover valuable materials [Video]

Video uploaded by JBey4you on April 19, 2018

Apple’s Daisy Robot Recovers Valuables Materials

Apple is on a mission to find new and improved ways to use renewable energy and materials. As we know, the electronic giant’s facilities throughout the world are now powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and Apple invests in renewable materials and uses them whenever possible in its supply chain. In 2019, to address these concerns, Apple introduced one of its most innovative creations: Daisy, a robot that can take apart used iPhones and recover materials, helping to keep our planet clean!

Daisy replaces Apple’s Liam, an outdated recycling robot revealed by the company in 2016. Daisy the Robot can disassemble 15 models of iPhones, and can take apart as many as 200 an hour (Liam, the previous robot, could disassemble up to 10 phones per hour)! Daisy not only removes components from a device, but also sorts the parts and stocks them separately.

Most of the iPhones Daisy recycles come to Apple’s warehouse from either Apple’s Trade-Up or GiveBack programs, which allow customers to return broken or unwanted devices for recycling. Customers may receive an Apple gift card or store credit for the iPhone they recycle. For every iPhone returned, Apple makes a donation to different charity foundations.

Daisy is a 33-foot-long engine, with five arms and many other moving parts. This robot works in the Material Recovery Lab, located in Texas. As its name suggests, the research lab’s target is to help the company recycle a large number of products. Apple has already invited other electronic companies, universities, and recyclers to join forces to develop this project, as this laboratory may hold the solution to the future of electronics recycling. Apple doesn’t hide its final goal; namely, to make ALL its products from recycled materials.

apples daisy robot recovers valuables materials iphone - Apple's Daisy Robot Recovers Valuables Materials

Apple has a new iPhone-destroying robot called Daisy that can disassemble 200 phones in an hour.

How Does Daisy the Robot Work?

  • Daisy separates the iPhone’s screen and body, by jamming a set of prongs into the crease between the two parts.
  • The robot removes the battery from the iPhone, by blasting it with freezing air and knocking it with force.
  • Daisy accurately punches out the screws that hold the logic board.
  • Finally, Daisy removes all the rest: haptics, cameras, speakers, etc.

This phone-recycling robot recovers all cobalt, silver, other elements, and the remaining aluminum shell from iPhones. Note that cobalt is a metal used in the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries; in an iPhone, those 6 to 7 grams of cobalt represent roughly 5 percent of the phone’s weight. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the world’s demand for cobalt tripled between 2014 and 2019, and its use is projected to quadruple by 2025. Today, about 60 percent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where this metal is mined by hand in dangerous holes.

Apple has pledged to audit its supply chain for cobalt and other problematic metals, but to tell the truth, the mission is impossible in mining areas, where private guards are everywhere, and bribery rules the market.

That’s why it’s so important that Daisy helps reuse cobalt, so that less mining is required.

Curiously enough, for now, people aren’t giving their used iPhones back to Apple in large quantities. Old iPhones still have value on the resale market, and secondhand dealers, such as Swappa, iGotOffer, GadgetGone, and others, offer competitive prices for years-old iPhones.


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