Author(s): Gonzlez A, Hayashibe M, Bonnet V, Fraisse P
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Abstract The trajectory of the whole body center of mass (CoM) is useful as a reliable metric of postural stability. If the evaluation of a subject-specific CoM were available outside of the laboratory environment, it would improve the assessment of the effects of physical rehabilitation. This paper develops a method that enables tracking CoM position using low-cost sensors that can be moved around by a therapist or easily installed inside a patient's home. Here, we compare the accuracy of a personalized CoM estimation using the statically equivalent serial chain (SESC) method and measurements obtained with the Kinect to the case of a SESC obtained with high-end equipment (Vicon). We also compare these estimates to literature-based ones for both sensors. The method was validated with seven able-bodied volunteers for whom the SESC was identified using 40 static postures. The literature-based estimation with Vicon measurements had a average error 24.9 ± 3.7 mm; this error was reduced to 12.8 ± 9.1 mm with the SESC identification. When using Kinect measurements, the literature-based estimate had an error of 118.4 ± 50.0 mm, while the SESC error was 26.6 ± 6.0 mm. The subject-specific SESC estimate using low-cost sensors has an equivalent performance as the literature-based one with high-end sensors. The SESC method can improve CoM estimation of elderly and neurologically impaired subjects by considering variations in their mass distribution.
This article was published in Sensors (Basel)
and referenced in Journal of Physiotherapy & Physical Rehabilitation