The pole-placement self tuning control method is applied to the control of manipulators directly in the task coordinate system. This results in highly desirable task-oriented performance characteristics. In the task coordinate, the position control axes and the force control axes are orthogonal. Therefore hybrid control can be achieved without degradation in performance of the control system. With the leaning mechanism at the task location, changing gravitational effect, dynamic friction, compliant effects, and load variations are automatically compensated for. Simulation results for both position control and hybrid control using the JPL-Stanford arm demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Real-time implementation of this algorithm for position control of a PUMA 600 industrial manipulator further supports the applicability of this new control method.