E-Scrap News

AI robot grades, erases up to 55 phones an hour

Phonecheck's phone rating and erasing machine.

Phonecheck’s robotic system automates parts of the grading process, speeding it up significantly and eliminating subjectivity. | Courtesy of Phonecheck

A company that provides used phone history reports has formally launched a robot that automatically grades a device’s cosmetic condition, performs diagnostics and erases data.

Los Angeles-based Phonecheck provides electronics refurbishers and consumers with device history reports that list key information such as authenticity, ownership status, battery percentages, data erasure and more.

The company’s technology underpins used electronics certifications from some major online marketplaces, such as eBay and Back Market. Electronics refurbishment and resale companies subscribe to Phonecheck to receive device history reports and achieve certification for their devices, which Phonecheck said allows those remarketers to sell their devices for 5% or 10% higher than non-certified electronics.

But, to date, the refurbishing and resale companies have had to perform a number of processing steps manually. Announced Dec. 1, Phonecheck’s AI-equipped robot automates the cosmetic grading, diagnostics and data erasure steps, processing up to 55 phones an hour. 

“The full automation that Phonecheck Robotics provides is an important opportunity for our partners to improve efficiency and reduce risk when processing large quantities of used-devices,” Jax Futrell, chief operating officer of Phonecheck, stated in the press release. “Equally important is the consistency and transparency this adds to the refurbished device industry. Refurbished tech shoppers can be confident in Phonecheck Certified devices, knowing that transactions are based on AI-driven data from an unbiased source.”

Phonecheck first mentioned the robot in an interview with E-Scrap News in late May. In the release formally launching the product, Phonecheck said the robots, which are available for lease, are optimal for refurbishers processing 10,000 devices or more per month. The company said the robot uses cameras that detect defects that would be missed by the human eye, and it removes the subjectivity in human cosmetic grading. 

The system can detect light scratches that are candidates for polishing, which can improve the phone’s grade a full letter in some cases, Phonecheck noted.

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