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Recycled Robots: A Climate-Friendly Future

As leaders and scientists try to curb climate change, some researchers are developing robots made with sustainable materials, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

The challenge: As robots become more commonplace in homes and workplaces, experts are concerned that people will simply get used to throwing out old and outdated devices, creating more waste.

The solution: Researchers have three priorities when building sustainable robots:

  • Recycled and recyclable: The robot should be made of recycled or sustainable materials and should also be recyclable at the end of its useful life. Ideally, parts that are not reusable would only make up a small part of the robot’s total components. 
  • Repairable: It should be repairable, so it doesn’t have to be discarded or immediately replaced with a new item.  
  • Energy efficient: Sustainable machines would also need to be energy efficient, using the smallest amount of energy possible to perform its tasks. 

An added benefit: In addition to reducing pollution and increasing energy efficiency, sustainable robots could change the way humans interact with machines. Softer biodegradable materials would make them safer to use or to adapt for other duties.

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