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Biomechanics in the Wild : a step towards validation of a wearable system for human movement analysis

Basu, Akash (2021) Biomechanics in the Wild : a step towards validation of a wearable system for human movement analysis.

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Abstract:The current gold standard for human movement analysis is the optical motion capture + force plate system used in the locomotion/rehabilitation labs. However, this system requires participants to stay in a small, restricted capture space which limits the possible motion types as well as the duration of measurements. A wearable measurement system is a promising way to overcome this issue, but has been claimed to be inaccurate. Objective: This study aims to build a wearable system , based on the latest commercial products (inertial measurement units + pressure insoles) , that has the ability to measure both kinematic and kinetic motion data and, in addition, test its accuracy by comparing it with the gold standard system (optical motion capture + instrumented treadmill). Method: An experiment was designed and conducted with 12 participants, wearing the wearable measurement setup, and performing daily movement activities in the capture space of the optical motion capture system. Then, the recorded motion data were processed to obtain the information of joint angles, joint torques and ground reaction forces (GRFs) for each motion type. Results: High correlation and low root mean square values were found between two systems in measured joint angles for all lower body joints in all motion types. Whereas high correlation was only seen at the ankle joint in calculated joint torques. Knee and hip joint torque contained significant differences, mainly due to the lack of horizontal force data in the wearable measurement setup. Vertical GRFs also showed a high degree of similarity. Due to the differences in measurement locations and co-ordinate frames, the center of pressures (CoP) of two systems were not comparable. However, similar changes in trends were found. Conclusion: The established wearable motion measurement system can provide accurate joint angles, vertical GRFs, as well as joint torques at the ankle joint. A completed and synchronised daily movement dataset (raw & processed) with both the optical (gold standard) and wearable measurement systems was provided. Future work includes estimating the horizontal forces in the wearable system to achieve accurate joint torques at the knee and hip joints.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:42 biology, 52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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