Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6891-6909; doi:10.3390/s140406891

IMU-Based Joint Angle Measurement for Gait Analysis

1,* email, 1,2email and 1email
Received: 20 November 2013; in revised form: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Gait Sensors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: This contribution is concerned with joint angle calculation based on inertial measurement data in the context of human motion analysis. Unlike most robotic devices, the human body lacks even surfaces and right angles. Therefore, we focus on methods that avoid assuming certain orientations in which the sensors are mounted with respect to the body segments. After a review of available methods that may cope with this challenge, we present a set of new methods for: (1) joint axis and position identification; and (2) flexion/extension joint angle measurement. In particular, we propose methods that use only gyroscopes and accelerometers and, therefore, do not rely on a homogeneous magnetic field. We provide results from gait trials of a transfemoral amputee in which we compare the inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based methods to an optical 3D motion capture system. Unlike most authors, we place the optical markers on anatomical landmarks instead of attaching them to the IMUs. Root mean square errors of the knee flexion/extension angles are found to be less than 1° on the prosthesis and about 3° on the human leg. For the plantar/dorsiflexion of the ankle, both deviations are about 1°.
Keywords: inertial measurement units; gait analysis; gyroscopes and accelerometers; avoid magnetometers; exploit kinematic constraints; sensor-to-segment mounting; joint axis and position identification; joint angle measurement; validation against optical gait analysis; validation on prosthetic and human leg
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MDPI and ACS Style

Seel, T.; Raisch, J.; Schauer, T. IMU-Based Joint Angle Measurement for Gait Analysis. Sensors 2014, 14, 6891-6909.

AMA Style

Seel T, Raisch J, Schauer T. IMU-Based Joint Angle Measurement for Gait Analysis. Sensors. 2014; 14(4):6891-6909.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Seel, Thomas; Raisch, Jörg; Schauer, Thomas. 2014. "IMU-Based Joint Angle Measurement for Gait Analysis." Sensors 14, no. 4: 6891-6909.

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