Suction Grippers

Book Suction Grippers

What are Suction Grippers?

Suction Grippers are end effectors that enable the robot to pick up and move objects, they use compressed air to create a vacuum. They can pick up various objects with a flat smooth surface. It is also possible to pick up some curved surfaces, and objects with rough surfaces with different Vacuum Pads.

Our Suction Grippers

The MSD Robotics Lab has 2 sizes of Suction Grippers:

Small Suction Gripper

The Small Suction Gripper is shorter in height, and takes smaller Vacuum Pads, it is suitable for smaller objects. The small suction gripper is non-rotating. The Small Suction Gripper can use pads from 10mm Diameter to 16mm Diameter, and can lift  up to 1.7kg objects (depending on pad size).

Large Suction Gripper

The Large Suction Gripper is longer, takes large suction cups, and is rotating. The Large Suction Gripper can use Vacuum Pads from 20mm diameter to 32mm diameter, and can handle up to 4.5kg objects (limited by robot payload).

Why Use a Suction Gripper?

Suction Grippers are appropriate for tasks where space between objects is an issue, since they are able to grip from the top surface of an object. They are less suitable for objects that are uneven, rough or need to be lifted from the side. Suction grippers are also able to lift delicate objects, or sheets whereas Parallel Grippers cannot.


The Robotics Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how robot arms and end effectors 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. Work through the training exercises to learn how to use and program the robot arm

    Training exercises

  3. Book a Robot session once you have complete 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


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.

Book Suction Grippers

How to Submit

  1. Complete Level 1 and Level 2 Inductions

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

  2. Book Consultation

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

    Book Consultation

  3. Book Suction Grippers

    Book Suction Grippers via the online booking system. They should be booked alongside the appropriate robot (IRB1200).

    Book Suction Grippers


There is no cost for using Suction Grippers.

Staff and students may purchase their own vacuum pads from SMC - talk to Robotics Lab staff if you wish to purchase your own vacuum pads. Materials used also need to be supplied by staff and students.


Which Vacuum Pad should I use?

Vacuum Pad’s should be selected based on the size of the object being picked up (as big as possible, with some tolerance) and the weight needed to be lifted. You can use a Vacuum Pad from the Robotics Lab or purchase a your own. Book a Project & Tool Consultation with Robotics Lab staff for further assistance selecting the current Vacuum Pad.

I want to buy my own vacuum pads, which ones should I get, and how much do they cost?

We use ZP series vacuum pads, you should refer to the vacuum pad catalog for suitable vacuum pads. The small gripper can take pads from 10mm to 16mm diameter and the large gripper cam take pads from 20mm to 32mm diameter. We suggest either NBR or Silicone as the material.