Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported by Reuters news agency as saying she is looking for a “good solution” in response to the Chinese takeover bid for Kuka, one of the biggest industrial robot manufacturers in the world.
Midea, a Chinese producer of household appliances, recently offered $5 billion to take over Kuka, and the robot-maker’s chairman, Dr Till Reuter, has already said the bid “can support our strategy”.
Apple has introduced a robot that takes apart discarded iPhones and recycles the valuable components inside, according to a report on the Reuters website.
Liam is reported to have been in development for three years, and will start with disassembling the iPhone 6.
Apple says it will modify the robot so it can handle a variety of devices and recover more of their components and materials.
According to Reuters, the Liam system consists of 29 robotic modules on a single site near Apple’s headquarters in California. It will focus initially on iPhone 6 phones. A second Liam robot is being installed in Europe, Apple said.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said Liam can help push the technology sector toward more recycling, by manufacturers and consumers. “We need more R&D if we are going to realize the idea of a circular economy in electronics,” she said.
Apple made the announcement about Liam the robot at the same time as it launched its new range of technologies, which included a tiny iPhone SE.