Meet Daisy: Apple Robot That Recycles iPhone

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Prakhar Tripathi
Mechanically Engineer. All for tech, tech for all. Professional moment ruiner.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reducing its impact on the climate change, and the company showcased its recent environmental accomplishments ahead of the Earth Day (April 22) – Enter Daisy. The latest Apple-made robot developed to help the company recycle old iPhones and recover valuable internal parts. That’s right, give an iPhone to Daisy and she’ll tear it down to shreds in minutes, without eating the important components.

This advanced bot is a descendant of Liam, an older recycling robot that Apple unveiled back in 2016. Liam was 3 times bigger with 29 robots instead of five. In fact, Daisy was created using some of Liam’s parts, making it a recycled ‘bot that recycles iPhones. This depicts adherence to disassembly’s mission of re-use and recycle, or it could be viewed as auto-cannibalism in one way.

Daisy is capable of disassembling nine different versions of iPhones, sorting all the reusable components in the process. It can take apart as many as 200 iPhones in an hour. Smartphone comprises of a lot of valuable elements – such as platinum, copper, gold, steel, aluminium, lithium, etc. – that can be used to make new electronics. Moreover, Apple iPhones include rare earth magnets, metals, alloys, titanium screws, tantalum capacitors, semiconductors, high-grade aluminium, and bonded glass and displays. Daisy proves to be a proficient alternative to conventional methods that tend to destroy valuable components.


Daisy starts off by scanning the phone and figures out the make and model of the iPhone, hence it gets to know the layout of the internal components. Then this highly dexterous robot, with the help of various attachments and suction cups, disassembles the phone with great precision, separating parts and removing certain components as it goes. Patrick Moorhead, a famous tech industry analyst, actually got a chance to see Daisy in action. He wrote that the Daisy literally consumed iPhones in one end and then handed back components for recycling on the other. This high-tech ‘bot is the only machine of its kind in the world and is currently housed in a highly protected Apple factory in Austin, TX.

Daisy’s introduction was accompanied by Apple’s announcement of its GiveBack initiative, in addition to its recycling program. The initiative helps customers to return or trade-in unused Apple devices to Apple store or For every device received from now until April 30, the company will make a donation to Conservation International, a Virginia- based non-profit environmental organization. Eligible devices will still qualify for an in-store or gift card credit.

Nowadays tech giants are increasingly shifting towards eco-friendly technology. Though some companies do ‘the environment thing’ to save their skins down the line, Apple truly believes that protecting our environment is important. Recently, the Cupertino giant announced that it’s global facilities are now powered by 100% renewable energy.

We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it. –  Tim Cook said in a statement

Also, refurbished iPhones are easily available at affordable prices. They will be tested and certified including a 1-year warranty if you bought them from Apple authentic channels. Looking at the refurbished smartphone market, the global market for refurbished smartphones grew 13% YoY in 2017, reaching close to 140 million units, according to Counterpoint Research. Contrastingly, the worldwide new smartphone market grew by a scant 3% during the same period. Apple and Samsung together accounted for more than 80% of the revenue of refurbished smartphone market.


Interestingly, if you may not know, using refurbished IT assets have a few advantages – apart from extending the life of used assets, they also tend to reduce the carbon footprints in our lives.


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