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The velocity control of a direct-drive robot arm with high friction is considered in this paper. The friction at the robot joints is assumed to be captured by the Dahl model (1976), which has a bristle deflection interpretation. A joint velocity controller with friction compensation based on the Dahl model is introduced. Experiments show the superiority of the proposed scheme with respect to the velocity controller when friction is compensated using the classical viscous plus Coulomb model of friction.