World's-first magnetic robotic tool changer will debut at a Korean barbecue restaurant this summer

Interesting Engineering (IE) caught up with Magbot at CES 2023.
Sade Agard
A Magbot robotic tool changer making noodles
A Magbot robotic tool changer making noodles


By 2030, it is anticipated that the robotics market will be valued at $214.7 billion. This substantial proportion is linked to the expanded use of robotic technologies worldwide. Particularly in industries where repetitive operations like packaging and picking are necessary, there is an increasing need for robotic solutions to drive greater efficiency.

Interesting Engineering (IE) caught up with Magbot at CES 2023, a Korean startup taking robotic solutions to the next level by providing the worlds-first fully wireless robot automatic tool changer (ATC) for robotic arms based on magnetic technology. 

Traditional ATCs rely on labor-intensive mechanical ball-locking methods typically driven by specialized cables and air compression.

To learn more about how Magbot's technology stands out, we spoke with Bruce Lee, the company's CEO.

Could you explain what the Magbot tool changer is?

This is a robot that helps people to process tasks in manufacturing or other service areas. However, what we make is different- we make the tool changer. 

Before, the robot could do only one process. Now, if a robot has the Magbot tool changer, it can do multiple processes- any process. So, for the manufacturing industry or the service robot industry, you can do many other different kinds of functions.

What issue(s) does your robotic tool changer help solve? In other words, how could something like this help industries?

One way is that the robot itself is very expensive. When the user uses only one function, that means the cost is expensive. But if they change the tools, the ROI (return on investment) is better. 

What are some real-life scenarios you picture for the robotic tool changers? 

Automotive or manufacturing. But now we are moving from just manufacturing robots into service ones. This is like a barista robot. The tools could also help robots make barbecues. So we make many different kinds of processes. That's our strong point.

Actually, we will open the barbecue restaurant next month in Korea.

Is the idea that this now multifunctional robot is to replace human labor?

Actually, we help people. For example, boiling water or oil [in the kitchen] is quite dangerous to handle. Now, the robot is equipped to help take on that risk. 

Multiple people could do a continuous task for like seven hours and at the same posture. Some people suffer from this [healthwise]. Instead, the robot is now equipped to do all those repetitive processes. 

Magbot have reportedly already received over $5 million in funding, according to seoulz, which s ome of the largest companies in Korea, like Samsung, Kia, and Hyundai, among their clients.