Manipulation is the field of manipulating physical objects by end effectors which are usually attached to a robotic arms. The most end effectors are special tools which are designed to perform special task during a manufacture process (e.g. painting pistols, electro welds or holders). Some more general and extremely fast end effectors are pressented in the following video. It contains a talk given by the assistant professor Carson Reynolds from the Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory in Tokyo. His team is using extreme fast end effectors and arms, and did combining them with high speed vision systems. The outcome is quiet impressive. Their robot hand can grasp a grain of rice with a tweezer or dynamically catch a flying mobile phone.
In addition to the video has the blog Robotspodcast talked to Mr. Reynolds, which can be found as podcast here (MP3).