In robotics a manipulator is a device used to manipulate materials without direct contact. The applications were originally for dealing with radioactive or biohazardous materials, using robotic arms, or they were used in inaccessible places. In more recent developments they have been used in applications such as robotically-assisted surgery and in space. It is an arm-like mechanism that consists of a series of segments, usually sliding or jointed, which grasp and move objects with a number of degrees of freedom.
One of the types of manipulators is balanced manipulator type MSP-250, controlled by the operator's hand. Such manipulators are used in various industries. Where there are special requirements to protect against fire and explosion, they may be driven by compressed air.