Where do broken and old iPhones go? They go Liam, Apple’s recycling robot.
Apple has been gearing up for its advocacy that seeks to make its iPhones out of 100% recycled material. Ambitious as it sounds, the tech giant aims to eventually stop mining. We’ve already seen apple open its 175-acre headquarters that run on 100% renewable energy last April, so it isn’t a surprise that Apple is very well capable of walking their talk when it comes to green technology projects.
Rarely is it known that the earth’s most precious metals are actually found it our everyday gadgets. Once these gadgets reach the end of their life, they either get thrown in the trash, become forgotten at the basement, or get shipped to developing countries to be resold. In other words, they become e-waste. Apart from basically just becoming trash, there is also that issue of devices becoming hazardous once they age and its batteries and other parts start to leak. To remedy this wasteful loop in the production line, Apple has debuted its recycling machine, Liam.
Apple wants to prove that they, as technology company, are responsible enough to build new products while minimizing waste. In Apple’s 2017 environmental responsibility report, the tech giant stated that they have already started building new devices made out of recycled parts. In fact, some aluminum bodies of the Mac Mini computers actually now come from reclaimed aluminum parts of iPhones.
So how does Liam work? Liam consists 29 freestanding robotic arms that are tasked to do the opposite of what assembly line robots do; Liam’s arms work to disassemble iPhones. The salvageable components that are extracted from iPhones are then sorted out and the eventually melted out in other to sculpt new parts or bodies to be used in future products.
It is important to take note that there’s definitely other companies that have been doing their very own share of recycling. However, merely shredding metals leave off a lot of waste that could’ve been recycled. Liam efficiently disassembles iPhone parts so that each and every single component gets recycled. With already 2 Liam machines, Apple is moving to further its green technology endeavors.