Multibody System Dynamics

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 297–316 | Cite as

A musculoskeletal model driven by dual Microsoft Kinect Sensor data

  • Sebastian Skals
  • Kasper P. Rasmussen
  • Kaare M. Bendtsen
  • Jian Yang
  • Michael S. AndersenEmail author


Musculoskeletal modeling is becoming a standard method to estimate muscle, ligament and joint forces non-invasively. As input, these models often use kinematic data obtained using marker-based motion capture, which, however, is associated with several limitations, such as soft tissue artefacts and the time-consuming task of attaching markers. These issues can potentially be addressed by applying marker-less motion capture. Therefore, we developed a musculoskeletal model driven by marker-less motion capture data, based on two Microsoft Kinect Sensors and iPi Motion Capture software, which incorporated a method for predicting ground reaction forces and moments. For validation, selected model outputs (e.g. ground reaction forces, joint reaction forces, joint angles and joint range-of-motion) were compared to musculoskeletal models driven by simultaneously recorded marker-based motion capture data from 10 males performing gait and shoulder abduction with and without external load. The primary findings were that the vertical ground reaction force during gait and the shoulder abduction/adduction angles, glenohumeral joint reaction forces and deltoideus forces during both shoulder abduction tasks showed comparable results. In addition, shoulder abduction/adduction range-of-motions were not significantly different between the two systems. However, the lower extremity joint angles, moments and reaction forces showed discrepancies during gait with correlations ranging from weak to strong, and for the majority of the variables, the marker-less system showed larger standard deviations. Although discrepancies between the systems were identified, the marker-less system shows potential, especially for tracking simple upper-body movements.


Marker-less motion capture Microsoft Kinect Sensor iPi Motion Capture Ground reaction force prediction Musculoskeletal modeling AnyBody Modeling System 

Marker-based system


Microsoft Kinect Sensor




Measured ground reaction force


Predicted ground reaction force


Marker-less system


Physiological cross-sectional area


Unloaded shoulder abduction


Loaded shoulder abduction


Ground reaction force


AnyBody Modeling System


Joint reaction force


Pearson’s correlation coefficient


Root-mean-square deviation



This work was supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation under the Patient@Home project to M. S. Andersen and J. Yang and the Danish Council for Independent Research under grant number DFF-4184-00018 to M. S. Andersen.

Supplementary material

11044_2017_9573_MOESM1_ESM.docx (688 kb)
<Sup_Figure1 - Marker protocol> (DOCX 688 kB)
11044_2017_9573_MOESM2_ESM.docx (444 kb)
<Sup_Figure2 - Virtual marker placement> (DOCX 444 kB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Skals
    • 1
  • Kasper P. Rasmussen
    • 2
  • Kaare M. Bendtsen
    • 3
  • Jian Yang
    • 4
  • Michael S. Andersen
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.National Research Centre for the Working EnvironmentCopenhagen EastDenmark
  2. 2.AnyBody Technology A/SAalborg EastDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Health Science and TechnologyAalborg UniversityAalborg EastDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringAalborg UniversityAalborg EastDenmark

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