This paper presents a study on application of adaptive and robust control methods to a cooperative manipulation system, which is developed for handling an object by two-link planar robot manipulators. Adaptive control algorithm ensures a parameter adaptation law satisfying the stability condition of uncertain systems. In designing robust control structure, contact and friction constraints for grasp and bearing conditions, structural flexibility or such similar factors as various unmodeled dynamics are considered as the uncertainties that determine the available values of control parameters. The novelty of results in the present paper is to define new control inputs using the parametric uncertainties and the Lyapunov-based theory of guaranteed stability of uncertain systems. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.