Magnetic and inertial sensors have been widely used to estimate the orientation of human segments due to their low cost, compact size and light weight. However, the accuracy of the estimated orientation is easily affected by external factors, especially when the sensor is used in an environment with magnetic disturbances. In this paper, we propose an adaptive method to improve the accuracy of orientation estimations in the presence of magnetic disturbances. The method is based on existing gradient descent algorithms, and it is performed prior to sensor fusion algorithms. The proposed method includes stationary state detection and magnetic disturbance severity determination. The stationary state detection makes this method immune to magnetic disturbances in stationary state, while the magnetic disturbance severity determination helps to determine the credibility of magnetometer data under dynamic conditions, so as to mitigate the negative effect of the magnetic disturbances. The proposed method was validated through experiments performed on a customized three-axis instrumented gimbal with known orientations. The error of the proposed method and the original gradient descent algorithms were calculated and compared. Experimental results demonstrate that in stationary state, the proposed method is completely immune to magnetic disturbances, and in dynamic conditions, the error caused by magnetic disturbance is reduced by 51.2% compared with original MIMU gradient descent algorithm.
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