In it 2017 Environmental Resposnibility Report, Apple made known its intention to produce future iPhones out of recycled materials. This environmental friendly vision looks very much on track with the creation of Daisy, a robot built for the sole aim of recycling iPhones. The new robot was built on it predecessor called Liam, another phone recycling robot developed and released by Apple in 2016.
It is common knowledge that electronics such as iPhone becomes e-waste once they reach the end of their useful life. Getting an accurate statistic of the total e-waste that exist in the world might be very difficult but it is undisputabe to state that the number is terribly high. No doubt, current or traditional mode of recycling isn’t doing badly but it is not as efficient as it ought to. The reason for this is not farfetched as it involves shredding and this recycling process lack the capability to recover maximum quantity of valuable materials and even when recovered, these materials are often compromised in quality.
The birth of Daisy is coming at a time when e-waste is becoming a huge environmental concern globally. Daisy was built not just to recover valuable components but to reduce the hazard of electronic waste. The robot will inevitably impact positively on Apple’s bottom line as the technology company will be saving more money which would have gone into the procurement of the same materials while producing future iPhones.
The recycling robot is capable of handling nine different models from iPhone 5s to iPhone 7 plus. Daisy can intelligently detect and safely recover valuable materials while ripping an iPhone apart. The robot was built with a capability to disassemble and extract an iPhone’s speaker, main logic board and rear camera. It can further recover materials such as gold, copper, platinum, silver, tungsten, aluminium, cobalt, tantalum and couple of other components like glass, paper, plastics, stainless steel.
Running at maximum capacity, Daisy has the ability to rip apart 200 iPhones in an hour. Assuming Daisy gets to work between Monday to Friday for 14 hours daily and takes the weekend off, that would be amount to over 700,000 iPhones recycled annually. For a new innovation like Daisy, this is indeed a great feat but considering the fact that Apple sold more than 200 million iPhones in 2017, recycling over 700,000 iPhones yearly would make very little impact in trying to cover the gap filled by e-waste globally.
Going by the technology company’s plan to install Daisy in multiple locations across the world, starting with the United States where she’s already in Texas and Austin, one can have some reasonable degree of confidence in Apple to fill the huge gap and achieve success in reducing the electronic waste being faced worldwide in no distance future.
Apple is keen on tearing apart millions of iPhones through the 30-feet long Daisy but the challenge envisaged would be getting the iPhones back from customers. This led to the creation of a program called GiveBack. In exchange for any iPhone that isn’t totally trashed, the program offers customers a gift card which gives the customer a credit for future purchase. For iPhones that have totally trashed, Daisy gets to eat them without the customer earning no gift card.