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Sensors 2017, 17(9), 1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17091970

Method for Estimating Three-Dimensional Knee Rotations Using Two Inertial Measurement Units: Validation with a Coordinate Measurement Machine

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
3
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable and Ambient Sensors for Healthcare and Wellness Applications)
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Abstract

Three-dimensional rotations across the human knee serve as important markers of knee health and performance in multiple contexts including human mobility, worker safety and health, athletic performance, and warfighter performance. While knee rotations can be estimated using optical motion capture, that method is largely limited to the laboratory and small capture volumes. These limitations may be overcome by deploying wearable inertial measurement units (IMUs). The objective of this study is to present a new IMU-based method for estimating 3D knee rotations and to benchmark the accuracy of the results using an instrumented mechanical linkage. The method employs data from shank- and thigh-mounted IMUs and a vector constraint for the medial-lateral axis of the knee during periods when the knee joint functions predominantly as a hinge. The method is carefully validated using data from high precision optical encoders in a mechanism that replicates 3D knee rotations spanning (1) pure flexion/extension, (2) pure internal/external rotation, (3) pure abduction/adduction, and (4) combinations of all three rotations. Regardless of the movement type, the IMU-derived estimates of 3D knee rotations replicate the truth data with high confidence (RMS error < 4 ° and correlation coefficient r 0.94 ). View Full-Text
Keywords: knee rotations; inertial measurement units; wearable sensors; human performance; motion tracking knee rotations; inertial measurement units; wearable sensors; human performance; motion tracking
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Vitali, R.V.; Cain, S.M.; McGinnis, R.S.; Zaferiou, A.M.; Ojeda, L.V.; Davidson, S.P.; Perkins, N.C. Method for Estimating Three-Dimensional Knee Rotations Using Two Inertial Measurement Units: Validation with a Coordinate Measurement Machine. Sensors 2017, 17, 1970.

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