Portable Gait Lab: Estimating Over-Ground 3D Ground Reaction Forces Using Only a Pelvis IMU

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Abstract

As an alternative to force plates, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) at the pelvis can offer an ambulatory method for measuring total center of mass (CoM) accelerations and, thereby, the ground reaction forces (GRF) during gait. The challenge here is to estimate the 3D components of the GRF. We employ a calibration procedure and an error state extended Kalman filter based on an earlier work to estimate the instantaneous 3D GRF for different over-ground walking patterns. The GRF were then expressed in a body-centric reference frame, to enable an ambulatory setup not related to a fixed global frame. The results were validated with ForceShoesTM, and the average error in estimating instantaneous shear GRF was 5.2 ± 0.5% of body weight across different variable over-ground walking tasks. The study shows that a single pelvis IMU can measure 3D GRF in a minimal and ambulatory manner during over-ground gait.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6363
Number of pages12
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume20
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Ground reaction force
  • Ambulatory sensing
  • Wearables
  • Minimal sensing

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