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TRG develops robot to triple daily testing output

Jasper Hart
April 25, 2019

TRG serves more than 6,000 second-hand retailers across the UK and EU

Technology Recycle Group (TRG) has invented a robotic arm that can test phones five times faster than a human can.

“Where a competitor might process 1,000 devices in a week, we could process up to 5,000 with the same human resources but with better tech to allow us to do it,” said MD Sam Hargreaves.

The High Wycombe-based recycler hopes the robot will help triple the number of phones the company processes daily from a current figure of around 600.

He said: “The number of devices we’re processing is increasing, so we’re looking to see how we can increase efficiency.

“We’re continuously looking to improve our technology and developing our software, allowing us to be competitive in the market.”

The arm is currently in a beta testing stage. Upon full development in “two to three months’ time”, Hargreaves expects to have a suite of 15 arms.


The specialised robot arm works in tandem with TRG’s in-house diagnostic software to carry out functions such as testing phone buttons. It has currently only been configured for iOS devices.

“The plan is that rather than having one tester at a desk with lots of phones in front of them, they are in front of five robotic arms and feeding them phones in time with our diagnostic software,” says Hargreaves.

“We have more demand than supply right now, and to create more supply we need to increase efficiency to get more devices tested.”

TRG serves more than 6,000 second-hand retailers across the UK and EU, and recently launched an auctioning platform that lets clients bid for batches of devices by software and level of functionality.

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