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This paper presents a novel variable-structure-based control scheme for nonlinear systems. First, a hard variable-structure control is constructed for achieving a uniform ultimate boundedness control. Then, a soft variable-structure control using fuzzy logic is incorporated to help improve dynamic responses when trajectories enter into the ultimate bound. For practical consideration, we added a genetic-algorithm-based alpha-beta filter in front of the fuzzy controller to suppress noise and obtain smooth input signals. For comparison purposes, an inverted pendulum system was first used as a simulated example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the design. Then, the performance of the control scheme was practically tested with an experimental PC-based magnetic levitation system. The simulation and experimental results strongly suggest that the newly proposed control scheme is encouraging for practical applications.