Abstract The purpose of designing a controller for a teleoperation system is achieving stability and optimal operation in the presence of factors such as time delay, system disturbance and modeling errors. In this article three new schemes for teleoperation systems are suggested using an optimal control to reduce the error of tracking between the master and slave systems. In the first scheme optimal controller has been designed in both the master and slave subsystems and by a suitable combination of the output signals of both controllers and exerting it to the slave, it has tried to create the best performance with regard to tracking. In the second scheme, as in the first one, optimal controller is applied to both the master and slave systems and the output of each controller is then applied to its own system, and by changing the system parameters and weighting factors, it has tried to reduce the tracking error between the master and the slave subsystems. In the third structure optimal control is applied to the master. In all three structures the positions of master–slave are compared together and controlling signals are applied to the master or slave so that they can track each other in the least possible time. In all schemes the effectiveness of the system is shown through the simulations and they are compared with each other.