Concept Luna: Dell unveils the modular design of its sustainable PC

16 Dec 2022

A robotic arm disassembling the Concept Luna PC. Image: Dell Technologies

Dell said the Concept Luna laptop can be disassembled and repaired far easier than other PCs, but it is unclear when or if the device could be available to purchase.

One year after announcing Concept Luna, Dell Technologies has revealed some key features of its vision for a sustainable PC.

The idea behind Concept Luna is to design a fully repairable and upgradable laptop with the use of sustainable materials. Individual components would be accessible, replaceable and reusable, with the aim of cutting waste and reducing the need for new raw materials.

The company said it has worked to refine the idea of modular components, with the goal of minimising the use of screws and eliminating the need for adhesives and cables.

It added that this would make it easier and faster to disassemble and repair the PC. The company said it can take more than an hour for recycling firms to disassemble a PC with today’s technology.

Various components of a computer laid out on a white surface.

The various components of the Concept Luna PC. Image: Dell Technologies

The new Concept Luna design can reduce this disassembly time to minutes, according to Dell, which has developed its own ‘micro-factory’ where it tests this process using robots.

Dell chief technology officer Glen Robson spoke of a future where “nothing goes to waste and the mountain of electronics discarded every year is dramatically reduced”.

It is estimated that up to 50m tons of electronic waste is produced globally each year, less than 20pc of which is recycled.

“By marrying Luna’s sustainable design with intelligent telemetry and robotic automation, we’ve created something with the potential to trigger a seismic shift in the industry and drive circularity at scale,” Robson said.

“A single sustainable device is one thing, but the real opportunity is the potential impact on millions of tech devices sold each year, and optimising the materials in those devices for future reuse, refurbishment or recycling.”

Dell said its PC design gives the option to diagnose the health of individual system components, as not all components reach their end-of-life phase at the same time.

The company has not given a concrete idea as to when or if the Concept Luna laptop could be released.

It also faces competition in the form of the Framework Laptop, which has a similar modular concept designed for upgrades and repairs and is currently available for purchase.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic