Other use:in Computer Graphics, an end effector is the position and orientation of the last joint in a chain of joints
In robotics, an end effector is the device at the end of a robotic arm, designed to interact with the environment. The exact nature of this device depends on the application of the robot.
This is a strict definition, which originates from serial robotic manipulators. There the end effector means the last link (or end) of the robot. At this endpoint the tools are attached. In a wider sense, an end effector can be seen as the part of a robot that interacts with the work environment. This does not refer to the wheels of a mobile robot or the feet of a humanoid robot which are also not end effectors - they are part of the robot's mobility.
When referring to robotic prehension there are four general categories of robot gripper, these are: 1. Impactive - jaws or claws which physically grasp by direct impact upon the object. 2. Ingressive - pins, needles or hackles which physically penetrate the surface of the object (used in taxtile, carbon and glass fibre handling). 3. Astrictive - suction forces applied to the objects surface (whether by vacuum, magneto or electroadhesion). 4. Kontugutive - requiring direct contact for adhesion to take place (such as glue, surface tension or freezing).