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Chapter 4. Robot Anatomy Class > Manipulators/End Effectors (Optional)

Manipulators/End Effectors (Optional)

It’s all about the work. At least that’s true for industrial robots, utility robots, and one day, humanoids. To accomplish this work, laboring bots are equipped with all manner of manipulators outfitted with grippers and tools (called end effectors in botspeak). Grippers run the gamut from simple two- or three-fingered claws to more sophisticated end effectors with human-like fingers. Other tools include just about anything a human might wield (drills, cutters, wrenches, welders, and so forth).

In mobile robots, manipulators and end effectors aren’t very common. Surf the numerous robot sites on the Web, and you’ll see tons of cool mobile robots, but few of them will have arms or working tools. If Barbie is fond of complaining that “math is hard,” robot-builder Malibu Stacey will tell you that robot manipulators and end effectors are even harder.


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