The selection of a tracking system for locating patient anatomy and/or surgical tools is of critical importance for many computer aided techniques in minimally invasive surgery. A mechanical tracking system has many advantages in a medical situation since it avoids the occlusion and distortion issues of optical and electromagnetic systems. However, few mechanical tracking systems exist due to the challenges of minimizing error accumulation along a serial linkage. To minimize error, the existing mechanical tracking linkages are large and bulky, making them impractical for a surgical setting.

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