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This paper presents the experimental implementation and performance evaluation of a nonlinear controller based speed control of an induction motor (IM) drive. Neglecting the iron loss in an induction motor model causes performance deterioration. In this work, an adaptive backstepping based nonlinear controller incorporating the iron loss in IM model is developed under the parameter uncertainties. The adaptive backstepping technique is utilized to estimate the parameters online and maintain the global stability of the drive. The proposed nonlinear controller based vector control of IM drive is experimentally implemented using a digital signal processor board DS 1104 for a prototype 1/3 hp motor. The experimental results show that the proposed controller achieves rotor speed tracking objectives successfully and improves dynamic responses as compared to the one without parameter adaptation.