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This paper proposes an adaptive control method for the planar switched reluctance motor (PSRM). Regarding to the mechanical deficiencies and control problems that exist in the prototype, a new machine with compact size and improved performance has been built. Following a brief simulation with finite element analysis (FEA), detailed adaptive controller design with online parameter identification is performed. Experimental results prove that the controller has good position control performance over PID algorithm in dynamic, static and robustness to disturbances. It is expected that the novel two-dimensional (2D) direct-drive machine with adaptive control strategy find its potential use in industrial applications.