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In this paper, we propose a new robust output feedback control approach for flexible-joint electrically driven (FJED) robots via the observer dynamic surface design technique. The proposed method only requires position measurements of the FJED robots. To estimate the link and actuator velocity information of the FJED robots with model uncertainties, we develop an adaptive observer using self-recurrent wavelet neural networks (SRWNNs). The SRWNNs are used to approximate model uncertainties in both robot (link) dynamics and actuator dynamics, and all their weights are trained online. Based on the designed observer, the link position tracking controller using the estimated states is induced from the dynamic surface design procedure. Therefore, the proposed controller can be designed more simply than the observer backstepping controller. From the Lyapunov stability analysis, it is shown that all signals in a closed-loop adaptive system are uniformly ultimately bounded. Finally, the simulation results on a three-link FJED robot are presented to validate the good position tracking performance and robustness of the proposed control system against payload uncertainties and external disturbances.