In this paper, a controller for robot manipulators is proposed to guarantee the tracking error of the systems bounded by predefined decreasing boundary. In this control scheme, a multi-layer neural network is used to approximate the unknown non-linear items, and the robustifying control term is used to compensate the approximation errors. The adaptive laws of weights of the neural network and robustifying control term are derived based on the Lyapunov stability analysis, so that, under appropriate assumptions, the transient and steady-state error bounds can be guaranteed. Compared with the existing work, the adaptable parameters in the proposed method do not need an off-line training procedure for better approximation. Simulations performed on a two-link robot manipulator illustrate the developed controller and demonstrate its performance.