Ambulatory measurement of 3-dimensional foot displacement during treadmill walking using wearable wireless ultrasonic sensor network
Soh, Cheong Boon
Date of Issue2014
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Techniques that could be used to monitor human motion precisely are helpful in various applications such as rehabilitation, gait analysis, and athletic performance analysis. This paper focuses on the 3-D foot trajectory measurements based on a wearable wireless ultrasonic sensor network. The system consists of an ultrasonic transmitter (mobile) and several receivers (anchors) with fixed known positions. In order not to restrict the movement of subjects, a radio frequency (RF) module is used for wireless data transmission. The RF module also provides the synchronization clock between mobile and anchors. The proposed system measures the time-of-arrival (TOA) of the ultrasonic signal from mobile to anchors. Together with the knowledge of the anchor's position, the absolute distance that the signal travels can be computed. Then, the range information defines a circle centered at this anchor with radius equal to the measured distance, and the mobile resides within the intersections of several such circles. Based on the TOA-based tracking technique, the 3-D foot trajectories are validated against a camera-based motion capture system for ten healthy subjects walking on a treadmill at slow, normal, and fast speeds. The experimental results have shown that the ultrasonic system has sufficient accuracy of net root-mean-square error (4.2 cm) for 3-D displacement, especially for foot clearance with accuracy and standard deviation (0.62 ± 7.48 mm) compared to the camera-based motion capture system. The small form factor and lightweight feature of the proposed system make it easy to use. Such a system is also much lower in cost compared to the camera-based tracking system.
IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics
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