Gait event detection during stair walking using a rate gyroscope

Paola Catalfamo Formento, Ruben Acevedo, Salim Ghoussayni, David Ewins
Sensors 2014, 14 (3): 5470-85
Gyroscopes have been proposed as sensors for ambulatory gait analysis and functional electrical stimulation systems. These applications often require detection of the initial contact (IC) of the foot with the floor and/or final contact or foot off (FO) from the floor during outdoor walking. Previous investigations have reported the use of a single gyroscope placed on the shank for detection of IC and FO on level ground and incline walking. This paper describes the evaluation of a gyroscope placed on the shank for determination of IC and FO in subjects ascending and descending a set of stairs. Performance was compared with a reference pressure measurement system. The absolute mean difference between the gyroscope and the reference was less than 45 ms for IC and better than 135 ms for FO for both activities. Detection success was over 93%. These results provide preliminary evidence supporting the use of a gyroscope for gait event detection when walking up and down stairs.

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