An eye-in-hand system is a robot end effector equipped with a close-range camera. The camera is designed for work at distances from a fraction of a millimeter to approximately one meter. A lamp is included in the gripper (robot hand) along with the camera to ensure that a good image is obtained in dim light. The camera has a lens that can be adjusted for proper focus, so the positioning error is minimized.
Eye-in-hand systems are used primarily to guide robot end effectors and grippers, and to ensure that grippers properly engage the intended targets. The system can also precisely measure the distance from the end effector or gripper to a target. In a robot equipped with a smart controller, the eye-in-hand system allows positive identification of a target. The controller compares the image from the camera with a set of images stored in memory.
Also see motion plan and robotics .