Apple is a multinational technology company that does everything reasonable to protect
the environment. Electronics consume a lot of materials through components such as batteries
that could end up in the environment and hence cause harm. It is, therefore, challenging to
produce environmental friendly electronics. Moreover, the production of electronics consumes
enormous energy. Apple goes the extra mile of not just talking about conserving the environment
but also actualizing it. Apple is one of a kind company as it produces a product and then strives
to weigh the degree of eco-friendliness (Bogue, and Robert, 7). It also takes back and reuses or
recycles products that they sell to consumers and at times, may even pay for the trade-in. It is
now globally powered by 100% renewable energy. Recently, it created a disassembly robot
named "Daisy" that is capable of disassembling nine unique iPhones at a rate of 200 per hour and
form recyclable components and materials.
How “Daisy” Works and Assists iPhone recycling
When it comes to recycling, most of it involves shredding in large volumes where
devices come in one point and are shredded, then separated using hands or machines. Such is a
forgotten procedure that dominated the early times, but it does not apply today since three-
quarters of metals in the periodic table could be used to produce a product. iPhones made by
apple comprise rare magnets, tantalum capacitors, alloys, titanium screws, high-end aluminum,
semiconductors, displays, and glass. Daisy is a robot developed recently, and it separates nine
different kinds of iPhone models into cogent parts that are ready to be recycled at the moment or
in the future or even disposed of safely (Moorehead, 37). Daisy is a fantastic robot that consumes
iPhones on one end and releases components in the other for recycling purposes. People who
have seen Daisy says that they have never witnessed something like it despite traveling all over
the world, which harbors lots of robots.
From the video in the link provided, Daisy produces combination sounds of "bam-bam"
and hissing of gas: a magnificent work of Apple, but could you expect anything less from one of
the big four technology companies in the world? Daisy comprises a self-contained part with glass
windows measuring 30 feet long by 10 feet depth (Video). It is usually staffed with about three
or four people. It forms a third of another robot made previously called Liam. Daisy is a genius
robot and can detect and determine the model of the iPhone under service and the level of bend
in it through its accurate algorithms for visual recognition.
Every iPhone possesses distinct features that guide Daisy in how to disassemble the
particular device and separate the material, by so doing, it determines the essential iPhone out of
the possible nine iPhones. If by any chance, there is a bend of over 10mm in a given iPhone,
Daisy senses it and rejects it. However, a bend of 5mm makes the process of disassembling
harder, but surprisingly Daisy still accepts it. Daisy takes iPhones that have a shattered display,
provided that the rigidity left it enough (Laser, Stefan, and Alison Frances Stowell, 70). Next,
Daisy uses a tool resembling an industrial skewer that has four prongs to remove the display.
Daisy does the removing of the display with a high degree of speed and precision. The removed
display is placed in a case. At the moment, there are no ways of recycling an iPhone's display.
Nonetheless, Apple is working tirelessly to develop ideas of recycling displays instead of just
disposing of it.
If something is not recyclable at the moment, it does not mean that the scenario will
continue since ways may be found in the future, as Lisa Jackson said, who is Apple's vice
president of an initiative dealing with the environment and social policies. Apple is in the process
of finding ways of reusing and recycling components which at the moment are not recyclable.
After the display is removed, removal of the earpiece becomes more comfortable, and with just a
slight tap, it falls into a chute (Moorehead, 58). The earpiece is made of a magnet that has scarce
earth metals. Therefore, just like the display, the earpiece is not recyclable at the moment, but
Apple is optimist that ways of recycling it will be found soon.
The next that is removed is the battery. It is a tricky situation since the battery is fixed in
place. Daisy has a way out: it blasts it with an environmental air of about -80c for several
seconds to freeze it. Through this freezing, the cohesion keeping it in place becomes frozen also,
and then Daisy knocks it down. Here is where the "bam-bam" sounds are heard as the frozen
battery is removed. The removed batteries are then monitored through scanning, put in a bag, and
listed for reuse or recycling. At this particular point, there are still other parts attached, such as
the iPhone's casing that is made of aluminum (Bogue, and Robert, 29). It consists of a printed
circuit board (PCB) and elements attached with titanium screws. These components also need to
be removed. Five arms Daisy is used to strike out the screws at a fast rate of approximately one
second per every screw. The fantastic thing about Daisy is that it understands that each phone
has specific screw placements, and hence, it knows where accurately to hit.
The remaining parts of the phone move to the last part of Daisy, which turns it at a right-
angle and perforates it to remove the PCB, speaker, camera, logo, and all other remaining PCB
congregations like the SOC, modem, memory, etc. Daisy does this with a single stroke, and the
bits drop into a conveyor. The one-time stroke varies according to the phone model. The
remaining part is an empty shell of aluminum that is dropped for sorting. The process ends with a
worker cleaning up the aluminum shell. Another staff worker sorts the electronic fragments that
came from the aluminum housing. At this particular point, bins full of separated bits that are
recycled at that moment, filed, or disposed of properly (Laser, Stefan, and Alison Frances
Apple is a true believer of the fact that protection of the environment is paramount for
life, and hence, it has gone the extra mile of investing in such a technology. Just like it has
always raised the bar with its services and products, it has done the same with this robot. Daisy,
as we have seen, is an impressive tool that I believe everyone who has heard of it would like to
see it in operation someday. Daisy gives apple customers a reason to be happy as one can bring
apple devices for recycling or trading in a program call Giveback.
Bogue and Robert. "Robots in recycling and disassembly." Industrial Robot: the international
journal of robotics research and application (2019).
Laser, Stefan, and Alison Frances Stowell. "Thinking like Apple's recycling robots: towards the
activation of responsibility in a postenvironmentalist world." Ephemera: Theory and
Politics in Organization (2019).
Moorehead, P. "Apple's new iPhone recycling robot 'Daisy' is impressive, and in Austin’."
Video: Meet Daisy, Apple iPhone recycling Robot;