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Sensors 2012, 12(7), 8507-8525; doi:10.3390/s120708507

Step Length Estimation Using Handheld Inertial Sensors

* ,
PLAN Group, Schulich School of Engineering, The University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2012 / Revised: 12 June 2012 / Accepted: 13 June 2012 / Published: 25 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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In this paper a novel step length model using a handheld Micro Electrical Mechanical System (MEMS) is presented. It combines the user’s step frequency and height with a set of three parameters for estimating step length. The model has been developed and trained using 12 different subjects: six men and six women. For reliable estimation of the step frequency with a handheld device, the frequency content of the handheld sensor’s signal is extracted by applying the Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) independently from the step detection process. The relationship between step and hand frequencies is analyzed for different hand’s motions and sensor carrying modes. For this purpose, the frequency content of synchronized signals collected with two sensors placed in the hand and on the foot of a pedestrian has been extracted. Performance of the proposed step length model is assessed with several field tests involving 10 test subjects different from the above 12. The percentages of error over the travelled distance using universal parameters and a set of parameters calibrated for each subject are compared. The fitted solutions show an error between 2.5 and 5% of the travelled distance, which is comparable with that achieved by models proposed in the literature for body fixed sensors only.
Keywords: biomechanics; dead reckoning; pedestrian navigation; step length; handheld devices; IMU biomechanics; dead reckoning; pedestrian navigation; step length; handheld devices; IMU
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Renaudin, V.; Susi, M.; Lachapelle, G. Step Length Estimation Using Handheld Inertial Sensors. Sensors 2012, 12, 8507-8525.

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