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Current generation unmanned underwater vehicles, equipped with robotic manipulators, are teleoperated and consequently place a large workload burden on the human operator. A greater degree of automation could improve the efficiency and accuracy with which underwater tasks are carried out. These tasks can involve manipulator motion that is both unconstrained and/or constrained. For unconstrained motion, where a trajectory requires following, a prerequisite is good joint angle control. An adaptive self-tuning pole-placement controller is used for joint angle control. Practical results show the benefits compared to the conventional fixed-gain control. For constrained motion, simultaneous controls of position and force are often required. An adaptive hybrid position/force controller is proposed and compared to a fixed-gain version. Simulation and practical results illustrate the merits and drawbacks of each scheme.