Apple unveils a robot that can disassemble iPhones for materials

As we all know, Apple is no stranger to voicing its dedication to environmental causes. The company releases a thorough Environmental Responsibility Report around Earth Day each year, and prioritizes recycling and renewable energy (as well as focusing on a multitude of other related initiatives). Last week, Apple even announced that it's now globally powered by 100% renewable energy, emphasizing its team's commitment to taking care of the earth and leaving it "better than [they] found it." Today, the tech giant took its efforts a step further by debuting Daisy, a new robot that more efficiently disassembles old iPhones in order to recover precious materials. (In my head, I fondly refer to her as "The Ripper," and am not terrified of her at all.)

According to Apple's post, Daisy was created through years of research and development, and follows in the footsteps of Liam, Apple's first disassembly robot launched in 2016. Quite literally built upon Liam's tech — she is made from some of his parts — Daisy can disassemble nine different versions of the iPhone and sort their high-quality components for recycling, almost like a post-apocalyptic junkrat searching the wastes for shiny bits. What's more, she can can take apart (and sort the remains of) up to 200 iPhones per hour. With Daisy, Apple is able recover valuable materials that other recyclers can't, all while keep them in great condition for further use.


Daisy (Image credit: Apple)

Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, shared her enthusiasm for Daisy's introduction (as well as Apple's device recycling program as a whole) in a statement:

At Apple, we're constantly working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve our planet's precious resources. In recognition of Earth Day, we are making it as simple as possible for our customers to recycle devices and do something good for the planet through Apple GiveBack. We're also thrilled to introduce Daisy to the world, as she represents what's possible when innovation and conservation meet.

In addition to sharing Daisy with us, Apple also announced that for every device donated through the Apple GiveBack program between now and April 30, it will make a donation to Conservation International, a non-profit environmental organization that works to protect our ecosystem through s​​cience, policy, international partnerships, communities, and companies.


What do you think of Daisy? Share your first impressions in the comments!

Tory Foulk

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.