Sensor-to-body calibration procedure for clinical motion analysis of lower limb using magnetic and inertial measurement units.


Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1H9, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Magnetic and Inertial measurement units (MIMUs) have become exceedingly popular for ambulatory human motion analysis during the past two decades. However, measuring anatomically meaningful segment and joint kinematics requires virtual alignment of the MIMU frame with the anatomical frame of its corresponding segment. Therefore, this paper presents a simple calibration procedure, based on MIMU readouts, to align the inertial frame of the MIMU with the anatomical frames, as recommended by ISB. The proposed calibration includes five seconds of quiet standing in a neutral posture followed by ten consecutive hip flexions/extensions. This procedure will independently calibrate MIMUs attached to the pelvis, thigh, shank, and foot. The accuracy and repeatability of the calibration procedure and the 3D joint angle estimation were validated against the gold standard motion capture system by an experimental study with ten able-bodied participants. The procedure showed high test-retest repeatability in aligning the MIMU frame with its corresponding anatomical frame, i.e., the helical angle between the MIMU and anatomical frames did not significantly differ between the test and retest sessions (except for thigh MIMU). Compared to previously introduced procedures, this procedure attained the highest inter-participant repeatability (inter-participant coefficient of variations of the helical angle: 20.5-42.2%). Further, the proposed calibration would reduce the offset errors of the 3D joint angle estimation (up to 12.8 degrees on average) compared to joint angle estimation without calibration (up to 26.3 degrees on average). The proposed calibration enables MIMU to measure clinically meaningful gait kinematics.


Anatomical frame,Clinical gait analysis,Functional calibration,Inertial measurement unit,Joint kinematics,