Accuracy and precision of equine gait event detection during walking with limb and trunk mounted inertial sensors

Emil Olsen, Pia Haubro Andersen, Thilo Pfau
Sensors 2012, 12 (6): 8145-56
The increased variations of temporal gait events when pathology is present are good candidate features for objective diagnostic tests. We hypothesised that the gait events hoof-on/off and stance can be detected accurately and precisely using features from trunk and distal limb-mounted Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). Four IMUs were mounted on the distal limb and five IMUs were attached to the skin over the dorsal spinous processes at the withers, fourth lumbar vertebrae and sacrum as well as left and right tuber coxae. IMU data were synchronised to a force plate array and a motion capture system. Accuracy (bias) and precision (SD of bias) was calculated to compare force plate and IMU timings for gait events. Data were collected from seven horses. One hundred and twenty three (123) front limb steps were analysed; hoof-on was detected with a bias (SD) of -7 (23) ms, hoof-off with 0.7 (37) ms and front limb stance with -0.02 (37) ms. A total of 119 hind limb steps were analysed; hoof-on was found with a bias (SD) of -4 (25) ms, hoof-off with 6 (21) ms and hind limb stance with 0.2 (28) ms. IMUs mounted on the distal limbs and sacrum can detect gait events accurately and precisely.

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