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An integral variable structure control (IVSC) approach for robot manipulators is presented to achieve accurate servo-tracking in the presence of load variations, parameter variations and nonlinear dynamic interactions. A procedure is proposed for choosing the control function so that it guarantees the existence of the sliding mode and for determining the coefficients of the switching plane and the integral control gain such that the IVSC approach has the desired properties. Furthermore, a modified proper continuous function is introduced to overcome the chattering problem. The proposed IVSC approach has been simulated for the first three links of a PUMA 560 robot arm as an illustration. The simulation results demonstrate the potential of the proposed scheme.