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Paper Publication: Orientation-Invariant Spatio-Temporal Gait Analysis Using Foot-Worn Inertial Sensors

Paper Publication by our Partner Fraunhofer AICOS

Vânia Guimarães and her team at Fraunhofer AICOS succefully published a paper in Sensors: Sensors is the leading international, peer-reviewed, open access journal on the science and technology of sensors.

Orientation-Invariant Spatio-Temporal Gait Analysis Using Foot-Worn Inertial Sensors” was published in Sensors

Inertial sensors can potentially assist clinical decision making in gait-related disorders. Methods for objective spatio-temporal gait analysis usually assume the careful alignment of the sensors on the body, so that sensor data can be evaluated using the body coordinate system. Some studies infer sensor orientation by exploring the cyclic characteristics of walking. In addition to being unrealistic to assume that the sensor can be aligned perfectly with the body, the robustness of gait analysis with respect to differences in sensor orientation has not yet been investigated—potentially hindering use in clinical settings. To address this gap in the literature, we introduce an orientation-invariant gait analysis approach and propose a method to quantitatively assess robustness to changes in sensor orientation. We validate our results in a group of young adults, using an optical motion capture system as reference. Overall, good agreement between systems is achieved considering an extensive set of gait metrics. Gait speed is evaluated with a relative error of −3.1 9.2 cm/s, but precision improves when turning strides are excluded from the analysis, resulting in a relative error of −3.4 6.9 cm/s. We demonstrate the invariance of our approach by simulating rotations of the sensor on the foot.

Link to the paper: