Watch Apple’s Daisy robot take apart an iPhone because it’s cool

You have no idea how fascinating it is to watch a robot disassemble an iPhone.

In honor of Earth Day this Friday, April 22, Apple is stepping up efforts to reduce e-waste, including using more recyclable materials in new products and packaging and letting a robot break down returned and discarded iPhones for recovery. valuable components and in complete safety. eliminate hazardous materials.

In a new video from tech YouTuber Sara Deitschy, we finally get a detailed look at how Apple’s latest recycling robot, Daisy, breaks down an iPhone.

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Estimates vary on how many iPhones we throw away each year, but it’s a safe bet that it’s millions. Apple has also received millions of phones which are being traded in to upgrade to the new Phone 13. All of this represents a potentially huge amount of e-waste and wasted materials.

Apple has been working on this important environmental issue for years. In 2016, we got our first look at Daisy’s predecessor: Liam. Like Daisy, Liam had a number of stations and 29 robotic arms. However, according to Deitschy’s video, Liam wasn’t precise enough to, say, properly remove all the screws from an iPhone.

In the video, Deitschy drops an old iPhone (it looks like it might have been an iPhone 12) into a tray that fed it to Daisy. The robot picked up the phone and immediately removed the screen in what looked like a two-step process.

With that separated, it overcooled the iPhone (white frost appeared on the chassis), making the adhesive holding the battery in place brittle enough to come off. The battery then ended up in a trash can to be picked up by a human.

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Then Daisy removed all the screws and then the separate components, which all ended up on a conveyor belt where they were picked up by humans and separated into bins. After that, those parts are transported to places where recyclable materials and precious metals can be removed and, potentially, end up in new devices.

A good idea, but can it evolve?

It’s a fascinating, if methodical, process and its effectiveness is unclear. You would clearly need a phalanx of Daisy robots to mass recycle old iPhones. These details, however, are not in the video. Separately, Apple claims that Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million phones each year and can now disassemble 23 separate iPhone models. Another robot, Dave, works on the company’s Taptic motors.

With the world producing 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste every year, Apple’s efforts may be considered a drop in the bucket, but Daisy is only part of Apple’s green efforts. ‘Apple. The company plans to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Apple isn’t necessarily the only smartphone maker to apply cutting-edge device recycling techniques. In 2020, Samsung teased its own smartphone recycling robot, but we’ve heard little about it since.

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