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Open AccessArticle

PDR with a Foot-Mounted IMU and Ramp Detection

Centre for Automation and Robotics (CAR), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)-UPM, Ctra. Campo Real km 0.2, La Poveda, Arganda del Rey, Madrid, 28500, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2011, 11(10), 9393-9410;
Received: 5 August 2011 / Revised: 20 September 2011 / Accepted: 26 September 2011 / Published: 29 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensorial Systems Applied to Intelligent Spaces)
PDF [8981 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


The localization of persons in indoor environments is nowadays an open problem. There are partial solutions based on the deployment of a network of sensors (Local Positioning Systems or LPS). Other solutions only require the installation of an inertial sensor on the person’s body (Pedestrian Dead-Reckoning or PDR). PDR solutions integrate the signals coming from an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which usually contains 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes. The main problem of PDR is the accumulation of positioning errors due to the drift caused by the noise in the sensors. This paper presents a PDR solution that incorporates a drift correction method based on detecting the access ramps usually found in buildings. The ramp correction method is implemented over a PDR framework that uses an Inertial Navigation algorithm (INS) and an IMU attached to the person’s foot. Unlike other approaches that use external sensors to correct the drift error, we only use one IMU on the foot. To detect a ramp, the slope of the terrain on which the user is walking, and the change in height sensed when moving forward, are estimated from the IMU. After detection, the ramp is checked for association with one of the existing in a database. For each associated ramp, a position correction is fed into the Kalman Filter in order to refine the INS-PDR solution. Drift-free localization is achieved with positioning errors below 2 meters for 1,000-meter-long routes in a building with a few ramps. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor localization; pedestrian dead-reckoning; inertial measureent unit (IMU); inertial navigation; drift elimination; ramp detection indoor localization; pedestrian dead-reckoning; inertial measureent unit (IMU); inertial navigation; drift elimination; ramp detection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiménez, A.R.; Seco, F.; Zampella, F.; Prieto, J.C.; Guevara, J. PDR with a Foot-Mounted IMU and Ramp Detection. Sensors 2011, 11, 9393-9410.

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