Parallel Grippers (Electric and Pneumatic)

Book Parallel Grippers

What are Parallel Grippers?

Parallel Grippers are end effectors that enable the robot to pick up, move and manipulate an object. The grippers move in a parallel motion, which means they pick up objects from the side. The part of the gripper that grasps the object are called ‘fingers’. The robotics lab has a selection of fingers available, however staff and students can make their own (i.e. 3D Print). Parallel grippers can pick up objects from the outside (external grip) or inside (internal grip))

Our grippers

The MSD Robotics Lab has two types of grippers:

Pneumatic Grippers

Pneumatic Grippers are powered by compressed air. They can only be fully closed or fully open. By adjusting the finger size, the grippers can be made to pick up any object. The Pneumatics Grippers are only available for use on the IRB 1200 Robots.

  • Stroke Length (how far the grippers can open and closed): 22mm
  • Max Force (the amount of force the gripper applies): ~ 200N to 225N
  • Max Payload -  Internal Grip: 2kg -2.2kg

Servo Grippers

Servo Grippers are powered by electricity. They are capable of opening and closing any distance within their stroke size (+ gripper width) with steps of 0.38mm. Custom setups are available via consultation with robotics lab staff.The Servo Grippers are only available on the IRB 120 Robots.

  • Stroke Length: 24mm
  • Max Force: 11 to 28N
  • Max Payload: 112 grams to 280 grams

Why use Parallel Grippers?

Parallel Grippers are appropriate for tasks such as pick and place, manipulating materials and assembly. Parallel Grippers are typically more suited to harder materials, finger design can accommodate non-linear/rectangular objects, as well as some softer objects.

Pneumatic Grippers should be used for heavier objects, while Servo Grippers should be used for objects with varying dimensions.


The Robotics Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how robot arms work, how to setup a file for  the robots and and how to submit it for processing. This training includes:

  1. Robotics Lab website

    Read through the website to get an understanding of what the robotics lab offers.

  2. Training exercises

    Work through the training exercises to learn how to use and program the robot arm.

  3. Book a session

    Book a Robot session once you have completed Level 03 Safety Induction

    Book Session

  4. Consultation

    Book a consultation with the Robotics Lab’s experienced staff to get help with complex technical challenges specific to your project. Before making a booking, it is expected that you have completed the Introductory sessions and read through available guidelines for the technology.

    Book Consultation


Book Grippers

The equipment in the Robotics Lab (G23) is available for you to book and use when you have completed the required safety training and inductions. To use the robot arms you must complete the following:

The Robotics Lab Open Access sessions take place every weekday afternoon, Monday – Friday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. End Effectors and Tools are only to be booked during Open Access.

Open Access times are available for all students from MSD, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Tools are only able to be booked out during Open Access.

For more information about the Safety Training and Inductions for the Robotics Lab head to the Access page.

How to Submit

  1. Complete Level 1 and Level 2 Inductions

    Complete the required Safety Inductions as detailed in the Access section.

  2. Book a Consultation

    Book a Consultation with Robotics Lab staff to discuss your project and application. Including Finger Design.

  3. Book Parallel Grippers

    Book Parallel Grippers via the online booking system and should be booked alongside a robot booking for the appropriate robot (IRB1200) for Pneumatic Grippers, 1RB120 for Servo Grippers).


There is no cost for using Parallel Grippers.

Staff and students making their own fingers for the grippers may be required to pay for services such as 3D printing via the FabLab. Materials used also need to be supplied by staff and students.


Which gripper should I use?

Pneumatic Grippers have higher grip strength, are able to lift heavier objects (up to 2.2kg) but are only able to move to 2 positions (fully open and fully closed). You can design fingers that are the right width & shape for the object you wish to manipulate. Pneumatic Grippers are only available on the IRB1200 robots.

Servo Grippers have lower grip strength, are able to lift up to 280 grams, but are able to be positioned in any position between open and closed. Servo Grippers are only available on the IRB120 robots.