Estimation of end point foot clearance points from inertial sensor data

Braveena K Santhiranayagam, Daniel T H Lai, Rezaul K Begg, Marimuthu Palaniswami
Conference Proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2011, 2011: 6503-6
Foot clearance parameters provide useful insight into tripping risks during walking. This paper proposes a technique for the estimate of key foot clearance parameters using inertial sensor (accelerometers and gyroscopes) data. Fifteen features were extracted from raw inertial sensor measurements, and a regression model was used to estimate two key foot clearance parameters: First maximum vertical clearance (m x 1) after toe-off and the Minimum Toe Clearance (MTC) of the swing foot. Comparisons are made against measurements obtained using an optoelectronic motion capture system (Optotrak), at 4 different walking speeds. General Regression Neural Networks (GRNN) were used to estimate the desired parameters from the sensor features. Eight subjects foot clearance data were examined and a Leave-one-subject-out (LOSO) method was used to select the best model. The best average Root Mean Square Errors (RMSE) across all subjects obtained using all sensor features at the maximum speed for m x 1 was 5.32 mm and for MTC was 4.04 mm. Further application of a hill-climbing feature selection technique resulted in 0.54-21.93% improvement in RMSE and required fewer input features. The results demonstrated that using raw inertial sensor data with regression models and feature selection could accurately estimate key foot clearance parameters.

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