End Effector

What Does End Effector Mean?

In robotics, end effectors are the end robotic parts that
attach to robotic arms or appendages. End effectors are instrumental in robot
design and engineering, because so much of what robots do involves the
manipulation of objects, or other key tasks for which the robot needs some form
of a hand, grip or grasping device at the end of a limb.


Techopedia Explains End Effector

End effectors come in many different forms. Some robotics companies focus on rather conventional end effectors, such as two-finger grippers or three-finger grippers that can hold and/or carry small parts. Others have developed different types of end effectors for tasks like machining and welding, with items like clamps and bracket assemblies made for heavy-duty use in industrial fields.

The end effectors are part and parcel of what individual robots do. In many cases, human users must switch out these parts in order to enable robots to perform different tasks. In some cases, some of this process is automated. End effectors will continue to be an important part of physical robotics as robots become more skilled in various manufacturing and product development fields.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.