A manipulator can be considered a type of power assist, or more broadly, a lift assist. The connotation of “manipulator” implies that it must be guided by the human (it cannot move on its own, like other assists) and that the load can be positioned precisely.
Manipulators are typically used for handling heavy parts, but can be used to hold heavy tools as well.
The most common type of manipulator arm is mounted on a post anchored to the floor.
This example shows a tool manipulator mounted on an overhead gantry crane.
|EasyArm overhead manipulator|
This device (from www.gorbel.com) mounts an articulating arm on an overhead rail system for a high degree of flexibility. The load can be raised and lowered with a single finger.
|100 lb. capacity (www.advancedmanipulator.com)|