In this paper, position/force tracking control for rigid robot manipulators interacting with its environment is considered. It is assumed that only joint angles are available for feedback, so that velocity and force observers are designed. The principle of orthogonalization is employed for this particular purpose and some of its main properties are fully exploited to guarantee local asymptotical stability. Only the force observer requires the dynamic model of the robot manipulator for implementation, and the scheme is developed directly in workspace coordinates, so that no inverse kinematics is required. The proposed approach is tested experimentally and compared with a well–known algorithm.

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