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This paper presents an adaptive haptic control for a one degree-of-freedom master-slave teleoperated device. The aim is to reduce excessive collision forces that occur when there are significant time delays in master-slave communication. The control design also allows the operator to move the slave in free space and in a soft medium. Previous approaches to haptic teleoperation typically design for either movement in a medium or constrained contact with a solid surface; then, it is up to the operator to avoid collisions or precisely anticipate collisions. The proposed control runs on the slave side inner loop, with no time delay, and tracks commanded forces from the outer loop. A Lyapunov-stable backstepping-with-tuning-functions design provides a way to ensure smooth forces are applied that guarantee stability in the presence of unmodeled environmental stiffness and viscosity. Experiments using a Phantom hand controller interacting with simulated environment show that collision forces are substantially reduced compared to two other control methods. In collision-free operation, the performance is comparable to other methods.