Miniature wireless inertial measurement units (IMUs) hold great promise for measuring and analyzing multibody system dynamics. This relatively inexpensive technology enables noninvasive motion tracking in broad applications, including human motion analysis. This paper advances the use of an array of IMUs to estimate the joint reactions (forces and moments) in multibody systems via inverse dynamic modeling. In particular, this paper reports a benchmark experiment on a double-pendulum that reveals the accuracy of IMU-informed estimates of joint reactions. The estimated reactions are compared to those measured by high-precision miniature (6 degrees-of-freedom) load cells. Results from ten trials demonstrate that IMU-informed estimates of the three-dimensional reaction forces remain within 5.0% RMS of the load cell measurements and with correlation coefficients greater than 0.95 on average. Similarly, the IMU-informed estimates of the three-dimensional reaction moments remain within 5.9% RMS of the load cell measurements and with correlation coefficients greater than 0.88 on average. The sensitivity of these estimates to mass center location is discussed. Looking ahead, this benchmarking study supports the promising and broad use of this technology for estimating joint reactions in human motion applications.
Accuracy of Wearable Sensors for Estimating Joint Reactions
Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. Manuscript received March 12, 2016; final manuscript received December 28, 2016; published online January 24, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Sotirios Natsiavas.
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McGinnis, R. S., Hough, J., and Perkins, N. C. (January 24, 2017). "Accuracy of Wearable Sensors for Estimating Joint Reactions." ASME. J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam. July 2017; 12(4): 041010. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4035667
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