In this paper, a 4 degree-of-freedom robot arm used for wafer handling is proposed. The dynamic modeling of the vertical axis which includes a simplified friction model is derived. This friction model is fitted through the measured friction data. An adaptive controller is designed for this model and the influence of the control parameters as well as the learning rate is studied. In the experimental stage, the adaptive control parameter and learning rate are tuned. Finally the performance of the adaptive controller is compared to a PD controller and it is shown that the performance of the adaptive controller is better.