How Do Electric Grippers Work?

Close up of a robotic arm

In many ways, robots are quite useful, and can perform functions that humans cannot. An electric gripper is one type of end of arm tooling a robot used to complete many different tasks. Keep reading to discover more about electric grippers and how they can prove useful to you.

Overview of Electric Grippers

A gripper is a special device that fits onto the end of a robot or is attached to a machine. Once attached, the gripper assists it in handling all sorts of objects. A robotic arm, like a human arm, includes both a wrist and an elbow for motion as well as a hand. Some of these grippers even resemble human hands.


One advantage of using electric grippers is that you can control the closing speed and the grip force. You can do this because the current of the electric motor is in direct proportion to the torque that the motor applies. The fact that you can control the closing speed and the grip force is useful in many situations, especially so when the gripper handles fragile objects.

One more advantage of using electric grippers is that they are more affordable compared to pneumatic grippers.

What Are Servo-Electric Grippers?

Servo-electric grippers consist of a gearbox, a position sensor, and an electrical motor. You send an input command from a robot control unit to the gripper. The command consists of a grip force, a speed, or a position for the majority of grippers. You can use the robot control unit to send commands to your electric gripper via robot communication protocols or by utilizing digital I/Os.

The gripper control module will then receive the command. This module drives the gripper motor. The gripper’s servo-electric motor will respond to the signal and the gripper’s shaft rotates to the force, speed, or position in the command. The servo will maintain this motor position and resist any change unless it receives a new signal.

The two main types of servo-electric grippers are 2-jaw and 3-jaw. Read on to learn more about these two types.

2-Jaw Versus 3-Jaw

One important aspect of 2-jaw grippers is that they provide equal force for stability. Also, 2-jaw grippers can adapt to an object’s shape. You can use 2-jaw grippers for a variety of tasks, but they also work well for automated processes.

With 3-jaw grippers, you get more flexibility and accuracy when moving an object. The three jaws also make it easy to center round workpieces concentric with the center of the figners. You can also use 3-jaw grippers to carry bigger objects due to the additional surface area and grip force of the third finger/jaw.


You can use servo-electric grippers, as well as other types of electric grippers for assembly tasks on a production line. Alternatively, you can use them to handle machine-tending applications. Some grippers are capable of handling many shapes, making them suitable for these sorts of tasks. Electric grippers can also work well in a clean air room inside of a lab. On-off electric grippers won’t contaminate the air and they provide the same functionality as a pneumatic gripper.

Opt for a Custom Design

There are many reasons you might need a custom design for your electric grippers. For one, custom designs can handle fragile or oddly shaped objects better. Additionally, a custom gripper is designed based on your application. If you’re looking to get an electric gripper custom-designed, turn to GripShape.

After gathering a few details, our experienced design team will create a 3D model. Once you approve the concept, you can purchase the CAD model and manufacture the grippers yourself, or we can create the parts for you.

Design Your Electric Grippers Today

Electric grippers can prove useful to you for a variety of tasks, and they offer many advantages. If you’re ready to design your grippers, visit GripShape online. We’re proud to be a trusted name in the industry, and always go above and beyond to ensure you get the products that you need. If you have questions about electric grippers, or want to learn more about our industry-leading custom-design process, call (877) 709-3529 or fill out our online form today.

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