An ideal haptic device should transmit a wide range of stable impedances with maximum transparency. When using active actuators, transparency improvement algorithms tend to decrease the range of attainable impedances. Passive actuators can transmit high impedances stably, but are not sufficient alone for transparency. In this study, a hybrid force control algorithm employing active and passive actuators was developed to improve the stable impedance range and transparency in haptic devices. A new transparency-Z-width plot is proposed as a way to evaluate the stable impedance range and transparency together. The hybrid control algorithm uses parameters to share the torque demand between two actuators with smooth transition. These parameters were determined and an artificial neural network (ANN) was used to extend them to the entire achievable impedance range. The algorithm was tested experimentally on a 1-DOF haptic device. The transparency experiments employed an excitation motor located at the user side of the device to evaluate various algorithms in time and frequency domains. Results showed that the proposed hybrid control algorithm enables simulation of higher range of impedances with higher transparency than the conventional algorithms. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.