A medical navigation system is provided for controlling medical equipment during a medical procedure. The medical navigation system includes a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, an RFID sensor for detecting the passive RFID tag, a controller coupled to the RFID sensor, and a robotic arm having an end effector and controlled by the controller. The RFID sensor provides a signal to the controller indicating presence of an activated passive RFID tag. The passive RFID tag has an antenna, an RFID circuit, and a switching device coupled to the RFID circuit for activating the passive RFID tag. The passive RFID tag is used to control a payload attached to the end effector.