A framework for the analysis and control of manipulator systems with respect to the dynamic behavior of their end-effectors is developed. First, issues related to the description of end-effector tasks that involve constrained motion and active force control are discussed. The fundamentals of the operational space formulation are then presented, and the unified approach for motion and force control is developed. The extension of this formulation to redundant manipulator systems is also presented, constructing the end-effector equations of motion and describing their behavior with respect to joint forces. These results are used in the development of a new and systematic approach for dealing with the problems arising at kinematic singularities. At a singular configuration, the manipulator is treated as a mechanism that is redundant with respect to the motion of the end-effector in the subspace of operational space orthogonal to the singular direction.