It appears that a company once synonymous with Evil Genius is genuinely trying to do some good things, like unleashing a robot to tear apart its products. Apple recently unveiled Daisy – a robot that can disassemble up to 200 iPhones an hour as the company looks to simultaneously help with the recycling of their products and extract valuable materials from them, such as the gold and silver used on the circuit board.
Daisy is an upgraded version of Liam, the former recycling robot that actually donated some its parts to create Daisy. Liam could only disassemble iPhone 6 models, whereas Daisy can handle nine different versions. Daisy is part of a bigger promotion where Apple plans to donate money to Conservation International for every iPhone and Mac computer it receives for recycling at stores throughout April.
Gold’s level of corrosion resistance and conductivity make it a great fit for consumer electronics. Each iPhone actually contains about three one-hundredths of a gram of gold, which carries a current market value of about $1.80. Exact numbers haven’t been made available since 2015, but in that year alone the company was able to extract $40 million worth of gold from recycled iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.
In fact, about two-thirds of the e-waste sent through its recycling programs were reused. In addition to gold, the product’s plastic, copper, aluminum, and silver all carry significant value.
In its most recent Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple says its recycling efforts will play a critical role in developing a closed loop supply chain.