A concurrent comparison of inertia sensor-based walking speed estimation methods

Annemarie Laudanski, Shuozhi Yang, Qingguo Li
Conference Proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2011, 2011: 3484-7
This study performed a concurrent comparison of two walking speed estimation methods using shank- and foot-mounted inertial measurement units (IMUs). Based on the cyclic gait pattern of the stance leg during walking, data was segmented into a series of individual stride cycles. The angular velocity and linear accelerations of the shank and foot over each of these cycles were then integrated to determine the walking speed. The evaluation was performed on 10 healthy subjects during treadmill walking where known treadmill speeds were compared with the estimated walking speeds under normal and toe-out walking conditions. Results from the shank-mounted IMU sensor yielded more accurate walking speed estimates, with a maximum root mean square estimation error (RMSE) of 0.09 m/s in normal walking and 0.10 m/s in toe-out conditions; while the foot-mounted IMU sensors yielded a maximum RMSE of 0.14 m/s in normal walking and 0.26 m/s in toe-out conditions. Shank-mounted IMU sensors may prove to be of great benefit in accurately estimating walking speeds in patients whose gait is characterized by abnormal foot motions.

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