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In this paper we propose a new technique to the design and real-time control of an adaptive controller for robotic manipulator based on digital signal processors. The Texas Instruments DSPs (TMS320C80) chips are used in implementing real-time adaptive control algorithms to provide enhanced motion control performance for robotic manipulators. In the proposed scheme, adaptation laws are derived from model reference adaptive control principle based on the improved Lyapunov second method. The proposed adaptive controller consists of an adaptive feed-forward and feedback controller and time-varying auxiliary controller elements. The proposed control scheme is simple in structure, fast in computation, and suitable for real-time control. Moreover, this scheme does not require any accurate dynamic modeling, or values of manipulator parameters and payload. Performance of the proposed adaptive controller is illustrated by simulation and experimental results for robot manipulator with eight joints at the joint space and Cartesian space.