This article presents the design of a robust observer based on the discrete-time (DT) formulation of uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE), a well-known robust control technique, for the purpose of controlling robot manipulators. The design results in a complete closed-loop, robust, and controller–observer structure. The observer incorporates the estimate of the overall uncertainty associated with the plant, in order to mimic its dynamics, and the control law is generated using an auxiliary error instead of state tracking error. A detailed qualitative and quantitative stability analysis is provided, and simulations are performed on the two-link robot manipulator system. Further, a comparative study with well-known control strategies for robot manipulators is presented. The results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed technique, with better tracking performance and lower control energy compared to other strategies.