"More than 20 million tons of electronic waste are produced every year". Our leading recycling facilities are focused on extracting select materials (e.g. gold or silver) using industrial methods such as shredding or melting. In particular, "between 20% and 35% of the material content of a phone is lost when a phone is shredded and melted down for recycling" (ifixit.org), suggesting that many reusable resources or valuable working components are lost in the process.
Revive is a collaborative robotic system for repurposing electronic waste. Intended for future repair and recycling facilities, it works safely alongside human companions to improve efficiency, create safer working conditions and extract reusable material that previously wasn't accessible. Whether it's removing microscopic fasteners, analysing components to access information surrounding their demand, or simultaneously sorting and dismantling components. Revive will develop a harmonious relationship with the person sitting opposite, understanding their judgment and extending human capability to reuse and repair electronic waste like never before.
Revive is more than just a robotic arm, it's a collaborative workstation. Utilising a modular design, it easily adapts to fit a variety of disassembly lines, recycling facilities or differing types of electronic waste. Depending on the requirements, this most often includes a fabric vacuum surface for securing parts, a shared tool kit with interchangeable screw bits and hand tools, a heat pad for softening bonded materials and an interactive surface for workers.
As electronic waste is placed within the fabric work area, Revive will use image recognition to scan, identify and access information surrounding each parts dismantling process, potential reuse cases and current demand. Then take care of the more tedious and precision-oriented tasks, such as dismantling microscopic screws or simultaneously sorting parts while its human counterpart can visually inspect, test or decide on the outcome of each product. Unlike other solutions, Revive will alert workers about any potential hazards, such as old batteries, mercury, or LCD screens. Relating to its intended purpose, Revive's design celebrates fasteners, split lines and pivot points to allow for easy maintenance, repair or end of life treatment.
Revives compact and discreet form creates an inviting presence. It's 7 axis arm moves in a way that is naturally fluid and calm, while capable of reaching all work areas and simultaneously transporting parts. As multiple steps are involved, and each piece of electronic waste is unique, human judgment plays an essential role of the dismantling process. Rather than communicating through words or buttons, the notion of placing a part into different work zones becomes a natural way of communicating and showing decisions. Initiating next steps in the dismantling and bringing a sense of standardisation and efficiency to the process.
For communicating more specific information, Revives' backlit interactive surface detects individual components and responds accordingly. Showing information such as model number, market prices, or other information required to make the decision of whether a component should be recycled for reuse or stripped down further into raw material content. Creating an experience that is intuitive to use and naturally maintain workers attention without any distractions. In addition, Revive will also learn the unique behaviour and habits of each individual worker to build a harmonious and efficient relationship over time.
In summary, current manufacturing processes and demand for raw materials have seen significant depletion of the earths available resources. Likewise, our leading recycling facilities are only focused on extracting valuable materials and destroying other potentially reusable resources in the process. This is largely due to the efficiency of available technology, such as shredding or melting, which out scales the time-consuming nature and poor working conditions of dismantling components by hand. However, Revive will allow future recycling facilities to efficiency reuse or extract parts of electronic waste which aren't available today. Allowing us to recycle 'hidden' resources found within todays stockpile of electronic waste and recirculate working components and virgin materials of future products. Ultimately reducing our dependency on the earths natural resources and impact on the environment.
Looking forward, this increase in available technology will also see a rise or advancement in local recycling available and reduce the need of shipping more complex components off shore. Improving the awareness of electronic waste and creating alternatives to safety and effectively dismantled future products in local facilities. Helping to encourage new ways we will design, use and sell products and services in the future.