The Apple Liam Recycling Robot is a Real-Life Wall-E

By Gerald Lynch on at

Putting 1 billion Apple devices out into the world can lead to a lot of waste. A landfill full of iPhones has the potential to be the world's most valuable rubbish tip, but only if its valuable components are recovered. Apple's focussing on the final stage of its products' life cycles with Liam, a new R&D robot that is specifically built to aid Apple's recycling efforts.

Like a real-world Wall-E, Apple's Liam robot breaks down returned or broken iPhones into their component parts, ready to be reused in other ways. So, to use the examples given at Apple's March 2016 event, the tungsten from iPhone alert modules can become precision cutting equipment, while the silver from motherboards can be reused in solar panels.

With Apple previously being criticised for using conflict materials, at least Liam means that those contentious items that make up your pocket-computer can have a life beyond the yearly upgrade cycle. A small recompense for those that may suffer to put that £600 phone in your privileged hands.


For all of tonight's Apple keynote news, head over to our March event hub where we have rounded up everything that happened in one handy place.