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An observer-based robust adaptive nonlinear position and speed tracking controller is developed for a permanent magnet synchronous motor with initial rotor angle uncertainty. The unknown initial rotor position is treated as a constant motor parameter in the development of the controller. An incremental encoder, which provides relative position variation of the rotor, is used along with stator current signals to achieve stable control. However, the controller does not require the knowledge of motor parameters and it only assumes friction, external disturbances, and model uncertainties are bounded. By using state observers, the measurement of acceleration and load torque, which is required usually in the nonlinear controller design with high tracking performance, is avoided. The stability of the control system and tracking convergence are guaranteed using Lyapunov theory. Finally, the stability and efficacy of the proposed drive system are verified by experimental results.