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A Comparative Study of Markerless Systems Based on Color-Depth Cameras, Polymer Optical Fiber Curvature Sensors, and Inertial Measurement Units: Towards Increasing the Accuracy in Joint Angle Estimation

1
Graduate Program in Electrical Engineering, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, 29075-910 Vitoria, Brazil
2
Grupo de Investigación en Tecnologías y Ambiente, Corporación Universitaria Autónoma del Cauca, 190001-19 Popayán, Colombia
3
Instituto de Telecomunicações and I3N & Physics Department, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Electronics 2019, 8(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8020173
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-power Wearable Healthcare Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper presents a comparison between a multiple red green blue-depth (RGB-D) vision system, an intensity variation-based polymer optical fiber (POF) sensor, and inertial measurement units (IMUs) for human joint angle estimation and movement analysis. This systematic comparison aims to study the trade-off between the non-invasive feature of a vision system and its accuracy with wearable technologies for joint angle measurements. The multiple RGB-D vision system is composed of two camera-based sensors, in which a sensor fusion algorithm is employed to mitigate occlusion and out-range issues commonly reported in such systems. Two wearable sensors were employed for the comparison of angle estimation: (i) a POF curvature sensor to measure 1-DOF angle; and (ii) a commercially available IMUs MTw Awinda from Xsens. A protocol to evaluate elbow joints of 11 healthy volunteers was implemented and the comparison of the three systems was presented using the correlation coefficient and the root mean squared error (RMSE). Moreover, a novel approach for angle correction of markerless camera-based systems is proposed here to minimize the errors on the sagittal plane. Results show a correlation coefficient up to 0.99 between the sensors with a RMSE of 4.90 , which represents a two-fold reduction when compared with the uncompensated results (10.42 ). Thus, the RGB-D system with the proposed technique is an attractive non-invasive and low-cost option for joint angle assessment. The authors envisage the proposed vision system as a valuable tool for the development of game-based interactive environments and for assistance of healthcare professionals on the generation of functional parameters during motion analysis in physical training and therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: joint angular kinematics; human motion analysis; RGB-D cameras; polymer optical fiber; inertial measurement units joint angular kinematics; human motion analysis; RGB-D cameras; polymer optical fiber; inertial measurement units
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Valencia-Jimenez, N.; Leal-Junior, A.; Avellar, L.; Vargas-Valencia, L.; Caicedo-Rodríguez, P.; Ramírez-Duque, A.A.; Lyra, M.; Marques, C.; Bastos, T.; Frizera, A. A Comparative Study of Markerless Systems Based on Color-Depth Cameras, Polymer Optical Fiber Curvature Sensors, and Inertial Measurement Units: Towards Increasing the Accuracy in Joint Angle Estimation. Electronics 2019, 8, 173.

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