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This paper presents a method of calibrating and compensating for the kinematic errors in robot manipulators. A method of selecting a set of independent kinematic errors for modeling any geometric errors in a manipulator's structure is developed. A calibration algorithm is presented for finding the values of these kinematic errors by measuring the end-effector Cartesian position. These kinematic errors are experimentally determined for a PUMA 560 six joint manipulator. Two general purpose compensation algorithms are developed and the improvement in the Cartesian position of the end-effector is experimentally measured and these results are presented.