Earlier this week, Apple released its Environmental Progress Report for the year, in which it highlighted its technological advancements to aid sustainability and its increased use of recycled materials across the board. The report mentioned the new Daisy robot, which recycles iPhones. A YouTuber got a closer look at it in action.
Apple’s Daisy robot was filmed in action at an undisclosed recycling facility in Texas. In her video, YouTuber Sara Dietschy demonstrates how Daisy works to dismantle up to 200 iPhones into their individual components every hour.
A conventional e-waste recycling facility manually dismantles each electronic item into its individual components. The process is slow and laborious. However, when a machine is designed to work with only one product like Daisy has been designed to process iPhones, it can standardize processes and achieve greater repeatability and speed than manual disassembly, all while being less labor-intensive. Apple claims Daisy can process 23 different iPhone models.
For the uninitiated, Daisy is the successor to Liam, another Apple robot designed to tear iPhones apart. Dietschy explains that despite having 29 robotic arms, Liam wasn’t precise enough for tasks such as removing screws from the iPhone chassis. Daisy packs the requisite improvements and punches out the screws.
In the video, Dietschy feeds the robot what looks like a worn-out iPhone 12. Daisy wastes no time grabbing it and separating the screen using a two-step process. Then, the adhesive holding the battery in place is turned brittle by freezing it so that the battery could be broken away. The robot puts the discarded battery in a bin for collection by a human. Then Daisy punched out all the screws holding various components in. The pieces were dumped on a conveyor to be sorted by a human for recycling or refurbishing.
Check out the video below to see the robot in action. It is truly fascinating!
Daisy is efficient at what it does and reduces the human effort required for the process. However, manpower is still required for sorting individual components and determining their usability, so there is room for improvement and further development.
Do you think Daisy’s efforts make a dent in the e-waste industry? Tell us in the comments section below.