O2 Recycle turns old mobiles into butterflies

13/06/2014

O2 Recycle Turns Old Mobiles Into Butterflies

Recycled mobile phones have been turned into digital butterflies to mark World Environment Day, which took place at the beginning of the month.

Designers and coders used discarded parts to create the robotic devices, demonstrating how old technology can be used to create new life.

The project was commissioned by O2 Recycle and looked at how gadgets can be up-cycled, opposed to discarded.

Bill Eyres, head of sustainability at O2, said: "There’s an environmental need to dig out old gadgets so they can be used again, rather than lying unused and unloved in a drawer. O2 Recycle offers a simple, sustainable way to recycle unused gadgets and receive a cash payment in return. We all have a role to play in making sure that old technology lives on even when we’ve finished with it."

Each butterfly takes seven months to build and require advanced coding algorithms to make them give a unique response to each person they interact with.

The robotic insects will go on display later this summer at the O2 store at The O2, giving the public chance to marvel at the creations.

A phone number is assigned to each butterfly, which activates it when called and causes the insect to spread its wings.

The wings are made out of handset screens, with a unique pattern that constantly evolves and changes with each interaction.

O2 claims the butterflies have been individually designed to represent the different species and each are unique in look and features. Some have extendable antennae for example or laser eyes.

Chris Cairns, creative director at is this good? explained that the project gives the "old and forgotten a new lease of life".

Dubbed the 'Social Butterflies", it is hoped the digital insects bring happiness and show the something that was once loved can be so again.

"Each of these butterflies have their own little personality quirks so I’m looking forward to the members of the public starting up a conversation with them," Mr Cairns said.