Apple outlines Liam, a robot to deconstruct, reuse, recycle devices

With 1 billion devices in the field, Apple's Liam robot, which deconstructs parts and materials in Apple products, could have an impact.

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Apple outlined a robot called Liam that has been designed to strip an iPhone of its parts and materials inside to reuse or recycle them.

Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said the company will focus on reuse and recycling of its products.

Specifically, Apple outlined an R&D project called Liam, a robot that deconstructs the iPhone and repurposes parts as well as the materials inside. "There's no other machine in the world that does what Liam can do," said Jackson.

Ultimately, materials such as silver in a motherboard can be used in solar panels and other areas. Apple used Liam and its environmental overview to plug its Apple Renew program where you can return devices in store or via postage.

Apple said 93 percent of its facilities globally run on renewable energy and that it is at the 100 percent mark in 23 countries around the world including U.S. and China.

The company outlined efforts in Singapore to put solar arrays on rooftops as well as a solar farm in China.

Apple has 1 billion active devices in the field as the company marks its 40th birthday on April 1 and efforts like Liam could bolster the company's environmental reputation and save costs if materials can be reused in new products.

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