End Effector – Robot’s Hand


An End Effector is considered as the “hand of a robot.” It is one of the important devices in a robot. It integrates an arm and a wrist, which helps it to perform several functions like material handling, pick and place, machine loading and unloading, etc. It is also known as EOA (End of Arm Tooling), Robotic Peripherals, and more.

Based on the performance of work tasks, the robot end effector can be described into two important categories such as:

  • Grippers, and
  • Tools.


The grippers are mainly used in a robot for grasping / holding an object. The grasped objects will be moved to the preferred place with the help of a robot. The grippers are capable of carrying work parts, bottles, tools, and so on. It can work by means of magnetic, mechanical, vacuum cups, etc.

The grippers can also be sorted as:

  • Single gripper,
  • Double grippers, and
  • Multiple grippers.

If a robot wrist contains one grasping device, then it is described as Single Gripper. Similarly, a robot wrist with two grasping devices will be termed as Double Grippers. It will be very much suitable for machine loading and unloading operations. Moreover, it is better than single gripper, because it finishes plenty of works in a quick time. The Multiple Grippers incorporates more than two grasping devices in a robot wrist. The double grippers seem to be the best one than the multiple grippers. The reason is that the multiple grasping mechanisms are pricing very high. The grippers can be further classified into internal gripper and external gripper.

Other types of grippers are:

  • Magnetic Grippers,
  • Vacuum Cups, and
  • Adhesive Grippers.


The tools are implemented in a robot wrist for performing several operations on a part instead of carrying it. Some of the applications of this end effector type are Continuous Arc Welding, Spot Welding, and Spray Painting. The tools can be equipped in a gripper as well. As a result, the change of a tool can be done in a quick succession of time, especially where it requires a lot of tools to be altered.

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