From The Ergoweb® Learning Center


Dan MacLeod, CPE, MA, MPH


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.


Floor mount

Post2 Post3
Floor manipulators

The most common type of manipulator arm is mounted on a post anchored to the floor.

Overhead mount

Gantry support

This example shows a tool manipulator mounted on an overhead gantry crane.

Gantry2 Gantry3
 EasyArm overhead manipulator

This device (from 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.

More examples

100 lb. capacity (


Drum1 Drum2

Drum/barrel dumpers

Flat1 Flat2