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The goal of this paper is to present the first controller that has been applied to an original system, which is a direct-drive submersible grinding robot. Since this application is quite recent, an analogy is made with machine tools equipped with linear motors, and the control methods that have been applied are reviewed. This review has led to the selection of the sliding-mode controller with the best potential because of its robustness to external perturbations and its ease of implementation. Experimental results show that the controller manages to maintain a good trajectory tracking error while being robust to disturbances, such as those generated by the grinding process.