Robot End Effectors

Robot End Effectors : Robot Hands, Claws, Grippers, and Other End Effectors

Robot End Effectors.

A presentation given by Thomas Messerschmidt to the Robotics Society of Southern California.

The Wikipedia states:

“In robotics, an end effector is the device at the end of a robotic arm, designed to interact with the environment.”

ATI Industrial Automation says:

A robotic end-effector is any object attached to the robot flange (wrist) that serves a function.

Robot end-effectors are also known as robotic peripherals, robotic accessories, robot tools, or robotic tools, end-of-arm tooling (EOA), tool tips, or end-of-arm devices.

There are MANY, MANY types of robotic end-effectors. When referring to robotic grasping of objects there are four general categories of robot grippers:

The Robotic Gripper Types of Robotic Grippers:

1. Impactive – jaws or claws which physically grasp by direct impact upon the object.

2. Ingressive – pins, needles or hackles which physically penetrate the surface of the object (used in textile, carbon and glass fiber handling).

3. Astrictive – suction forces (includes magnetic) applied to the objects surface.

4. Contigutive – requiring direct contact for adhesion to take place (such as glue, surface tension or freezing)


There is quite an array of end effectors just in the industrial field of robotics:

Robotic tool changers

Robotic collision sensors

Robotic rotary joints

Robotic press tooling

Robotic compliance (alignment) devices

Robotic paint guns

Robotic deburring tools

Robotic arc welding guns

Robotic transgun welders


NASA has two robots famous each with different end effectors:

First there is Dextre who has built-in grasping jaws and a retractable socket drive. And then there is the newest robot to join NASA's team is Robonaut and his end effectors are human-like hands. These two robots have been in space doing NASA's bidding for some time now. Their ability to grasp makes them invaluable to the astronauts and the entire NASA space program.

In the field of medicine, the tele-operatoed da Vinci medical robot has what it's maker calls “tool tips” which include:

Robotic forceps

Robotic scissors

Robotic scalpels


End Effector Videos on YouTube:

Pick and Place Robot

High Speed Robotic Hands

Largest Industrial Robot in the World

Fanuc Robotiuc M-410 Pallatizing Industrial Robot

Synchronized Dancing Industrial Robots

Robotic 50# feed bag palletizer

Autoportrait; Robot Painting A Portrait

DJ Icey - Cross Eyed Sally (Robotic Ragga Mix)

Click HERE to see robot end effectors videos on YouTube: