Accurate needle placement is important in a number of medical procedures including lumbar puncture, intravenous needle insertion, and percutaneous biopsy. One especially crucial area for precise needle placement and cutting efficiency is in cancer treatment via brachytherapy, wherein needles are used to precisely position small radioactive pellets inside the body. Permanent seed prostate brachytherapy relies heavily on the manual dexterity of medical personnel [1]; thin gauge needles (customarily 18-gauge, 1.27 mm outside diameter) are manually placed within the prostate to position radiation seeds in and around the cancerous prostate tissue [2,3].

In prostate brachytherapy, poor needle placement leads to imprecise radiation therapy delivery and ablation of healthy tissue instead of cancerous tissue. Consequently, side effects of the treatment are increased and the patients' quality of life lowered [4]. Low implant quality (seeds misplaced from intended position) is...

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