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This paper describes research in active instruments for enhanced accuracy in microsurgery. The aim is to make accuracy enhancement as transparent to the surgeon as possible. Rather than using a robotic arm, we have taken the novel approach of developing a handheld instrument that senses its own movement, distinguishes between desired and undesired motion, and deflects its tip to perform active compensation of the undesired component. The research has therefore required work in quantification and modeling of instrument motion, filtering algorithms for tremor and other erroneous movements, and development of handheld electromechanical systems to perform active error compensation. The paper introduces the systems developed in this research and presents preliminary results.