Apple robot that disassembles iPhones

Apple has unveiled Daisy, a robot that can disassemble nine different types of iPhones, as part of their program to try and recover and recycle more materials that go into their devices. It can apparently handle 200 iPhones an hour.

It's pretty mesmerizing to watch at work, I must say. As Eyewitness News writes:

According to the Apple report, Daisy can recover 1,900 kilograms of aluminum (used in enclosures), 770kg of cobalt (a material crucial for making batteries), 710kg of copper (crucial in circuit boards) and 11kg of rare earth elements (which play a role in controlling magnets, and also are used in the cameras and haptics devices). That's just a partial list.

The company plans to install Daisy in multiple locations, starting in the United States (she's already in Austin, Texas) and Europe. Here's the list of products the system can handle: iPhone 5; iPhone 5s; iPhone SE; iPhone 6; iPhone 6 Plus; iPhone 6s; iPhone 6s; iPhone 7; and iPhone 7 Plus.

And here's the caveat: Right now, Apple can only work with end-of-life devices that are returned to it directly. So the company is putting considerable muscle behind the Apple GiveBack trade-in and recycling program. That includes offering credit toward a future purchase.

I'm glad Apple's working on upping its recycling game, but they could have an even bigger impact by better designing their devices to be repaired by third parties, or even customers themselves, in the first place.

As the folks at iFixit have discovered during their wonderfully forensic teardowns of high-tech devices, Apple products can sometimes be a bear to unbuild and fix. iFixit's repairability rankings of mobile phones shows Apple product in reasonably okay shape, clustering around the upper middle of the pack; their Ipads, however, are terrible, getting some of the lowest repairability rankings in the "tablets" category.

I'd be fascinated to see what a Daisy for Ipads would look like.