Apple’s New Lab Uses Robots to Rip Apart Dead iPhones for Recycling Materials

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The lab is part of Apple’s broader goal to make all of its products from recycled or renewable materials.

Airfi Teleena Apple said Thursday it will open a ‘Material Recovery’ lab at its Austin facility in Texas to investigate new techniques using robotics and machine learning to rip apart its devices and recover valuable materials such as copper, aluminum and cobalt.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the 9,000-square-foot lab houses ‘Daisy,’ an Apple-built robot that can tear apart iPhones at the rate of 1.2 million per year.

The lab is part of Apple’s broader goal to make all of its products from recycled or renewable materials. As part of that initiative, the firm hopes to develop an all-recycled iPhone at some point. It wants to recycle more cobalt from used batteries for use in new ones.

Daisy can disassemble 200 phones each hour

The firm on Thursday also released new statistics about Daisy’s iPhone recovery capabilities, saying the robot can take apart 200 iPhones each hour.

It uses artificial intelligence to identify iPhones as they enter the machine. First it pulls out the iPhone’s battery and smaller parts, then recycles the aluminum shell.

Daisy can now tell the difference between 15 different models, up from nine models last year, just by looking at them.

Longjam Dineshwori

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