End Effectors for Robots
The End Effector is the last part of the robot furthest from the base which interacts with the environment. In the human arm comparison, the End Effector would be the equivalent of the hand. The robot's task is to deliver the End Effector to the desired location so that the End Effector may accomplish its task by either being a tool itself or by holding a tool. There are many different types of End Effector available which depend wholly on each application.
Below are some types of End Effectors Loop Technology can utilise to provide your robotic solutions:-
For applications that require a vision system for inspection or guidance, the End Effector will be or contain a camera. Many other End Effectors could incorporate a camera to give the operators a view of the robot at all times.
- Welding Guns
Robotic welders have End Effectors available for each type of welding (i.e., MIG, TIG, Laser, Resistance, Gas etc). Each End Effector will have the welding torch and method of applying the filler material where required.
There are a few types of grippers and some can be custom designed if the object is a particular shape or structure.
Here are the main types of grippers:-
- General Purpose (2 Jaw) Gripper – for applications requiring a high grip force to moment ratio and positive pick and place.
- General Purpose (3 Jaw) Gripper – for applications requiring a gripper that offers self centring of parts, high grip force to moment ratio and positive pick and place.
- High-Moment Gripper – for applications that apply extreme stress to the gripper (e.g., applying high acceleration to heavy objects or extremely long, precisely positioned jaws).
- Long-Stroke Gripper – for applications requiring longer stroke lengths.
- Miniature Gripper – for applications requiring small stroke lengths.
- Collet Gripper –- for applications requiring precise picking and placing of uniform cylindrical parts.
- Composite Handling Grippers
We can now offer bespoke composite gripper designs which address composite handling risks whilst improving manufacturing and quality standards.
- Milling Spindles
Robots are carving out a niche in the field of CNC milling whereby their long reach and comparative low cost provides a very flexible and large volume machining platform.
- Vacuum Cups
These can be used singularly or in multiple to provide a means of picking a part up without obstructing the sides or bottom, making placement and/or further processes easier. Vacuum cups can be used on plastic, metal, glass, wood, card and more.
A means of magnetically attaching a product to the End Effector for manipulation.
- Cutting Tool
Devices used to physically cut material with blades/saw devices or high pressure shot or laser cutting. High temperature tips can also be used to cut material which automatically seals edges to prevent the material fraying.
- Deburring Tool
A cylindrical file type device rotated like a drill and used to remove shards protruding from an edge or feature in a material after it has been processed.
Used by surgical robots.
Like a domestic drill with the advantage that the depth of the hole can be monitored via the movement of the robot.
- Tool Changers
This type of End Effector has multiple tools with a common interface so that they can be changed to perform different processes.
- Anti Collision
Devices that detect whether the end effector touches anything in its environment. These can also be combined with some other types of End Effector functionality.
- Compliance (Alignment) Devices
Compensate for fixture misalignments, positioning errors, shifting parts, and/or variances in part tolerances by providing the robot with a little freedom in movement so placement of parts allows the finding of its best fit position. Applications that could benefit from using a Compliance Device include machine loading, machine unloading, assembly and insertion operations.
- Screw Drivers / Spanners
Effectors which can place and tighten screws, nuts and bolts.
- Spray Guns
For the application of paint and other such materials.
- Adhesive Applicators
Brushes or sprays adhesive onto surfaces. The tips of these End Effectors are normally heated to avoid the glue drying in situ.
- Sanders / Polishers / Finishers
These will have varying degrees of abrasives to remove surface imperfections or marks.
As well as those above, custom End Effectors are produced as a combination of the previous types or, as the market for robotics increases, new End Effectors are made to perform new functions not listed above. Here at Loop we will always endeavour to provide a solution that best fits your needs.