An explanation of robot grippers




You’re thinking like a roboticist if you imagine a basic industrial robot as having an arm, a “elbow,” a “wrist,” and a “hand” for manipulating objects. Elbows and wrists are present in what are known as industrial robot ‘arms’. Additionally, robots are frequently equipped with grippers, which are unique tools meant to assist robots in manipulating real-world items, at the end of their arms. Grippers are sometimes referred to as “manipulators” or “end-effectors.”

Errors can happen to human hands, especially while doing repetitive activities. Even when given assignments round the clock, robot grippers never grow fatigued.

Certain grippers have a hand-like appearance, while others resemble a hand with two or three fingers. Certain grippers have an appearance more akin to robotic claws than hands. Giant suction cups are included with certain grippers. Certain grippers resemble a squishy ball. There are some with magnetic tips. Furthermore, there are other methods that grippers can get power: hydraulic, pneumatic (air), electrical, and hydraulic fluid.

The enormous range of items robots may hold, from fabrics to electronics components and automobile parts, accounts for the astounding variety of gripper kinds. A tiny, soft gripper is perhaps the best option for handling delicate foods directly. However, a bulkier gripper with big suction cups is definitely a better option for packaging and palletizing activities, where you need to stack product boxes.

A few important factors to take into account while choosing a gripper are:


The primary consideration for any gripper selection should be the intended use of the automation. Will it be working with items in tiny batches? Does the gripper need to be approved as safe for food?


The total weight that the robot arm can support, including the gripper, is referred to as the payload. A robot can only support so much weight without faltering, just as your hand and arm can only lift so much at the gym. Therefore, the gripper itself and the robotic arm’s payload capacity must be taken into account when selecting your robot hand.

Real-world situations

Automating monotonous tasks like machine tending with collaborating robots is a great concept. Consider utilizing cobots equipped with grippers that can handle parts and take over machine operations in place of assigning personnel to perform these manual chores. This will not only yield more reliable outcomes, but it will also free up your employees to focus on higher-value jobs that are more suited to human skill sets, including managing the performance and programming of your cobot.

Imagine a bustling electronics manufacturing factory with a quality inspection setup. It is possible to train a robot equipped with a gripper to retrieve parts from a conveyor at certain intervals. The gripper may then position the component for inspection before putting it back on the conveyor.

Jaw grippers or finger-style grippers are among the most popular end-effectors for small- to medium-sized tasks. Finger grippers typically have two or three fingers. Robot grippers, particularly those with fingers or jaws, frequently include a “force sensor” built in to regulate the force used to prevent breaking or harming the object being held.

Robot-Grippers 1

How to choose the right robotic gripper?

While selecting a gripper, there are a number of considerations to make, but the most crucial one is to base your decision on the particular application you have in mind. Robotnext makes this simple for you. However, there are still a few crucial queries to consider while choosing a gripper for your cobot:

Will a single item or a combination be handled by the grippers?


  • Which kinds of products—foods, electrical components, for instance—will be handled?
  • What form do the objects require to be handled by the gripper? (Level, rounded, uneven)
  • Will a cleanroom setting be used for the deployment of the gripper?
  • Does the gripper’s own data feedback meet your needs?
  • Which certifications (food safe, IP7 compatible, etc.) should the gripper have?
  • How much payload does the gripper require?
  • Will the gripper have to work in confined areas?

If you are interested in grippers or want to know more about how to improve production efficiency. Please contact Robotnext today for advice and cost support. Details via hotline: 0909 914 837.

Other reference robot accessories:

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