Circular economy

Meet Liam, the Apple robot that can recycle your iPhone

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

A video presents the new robot that can disassemble a phone in 11 seconds. Already active in the U.S., it will soon be adopted in Europe.

Its name is Liam, it is a robot, and it is the new love of Apple customers who care about the environment: in the latest display of the technology giant Apple on March 21st, while the eyes of the media were focused on the newest iPhone, the robot was introduced to the public with a captivating video presentation.

Liam, whose development took about 3 years, officially started working ten days ago, proving to be an outstanding worker: Liam can disassemble an iPhone in as little as 11 seconds. The robot is employed in a facility close to Apple’s general HQ in California, but the company is planning to introduce a new one in Europe.

It will initially process only iPhone 6, but Apple is allegedly planning to adapt it to other devices as well, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s environmental coordinator, said that this robot represents an important step forward towards technology recycling, and added that more research and development are still required to concretely introduce the circular economy in the sector of electronics.

Nevertheless, according to some critical voices, the robot (however innovative) is not a real innovation in the recycling of electronic waste. If a single Apple robot worked without interruptions, it could disassemble just below 3 billion devices per year, while Apple sold 231 billion in 2015 alone. Moreover, Liam is still in a development phase and rests during weekends.


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