A systematic method is presented for optimal integration of smart actuators into the structure of robot manipulators for the purpose of enabling them to perform smooth object manipulation with smooth actuated joint motions. Here, the motions are considered to be smooth if they do not contain high harmonic components. For optimal positioning of smart actuators in the structure of robot manipulators, a method is developed based on the evaluation of the transmissibility of displacement (velocity and/or force) from the smart actuators to the robot manipulator joint motions and the end-effector displacements (velocity and/or force). A method is then presented for synthesizing actuated joint and object motions to achieve trajectories that do not contain high harmonic components. By minimizing the high harmonic components of the required joint and object motions with properly sized and placed smart actuators, such computer-controlled machines can operate at relatively higher speeds and achieve greater tracking precision with minimal vibration and control problems. A number of numerical examples are provided.

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