CMBEBIH 2017 pp 205-211 | Cite as

Implementation and Validation of Human Kinematics Measured Using IMUs for Musculoskeletal Simulations by the Evaluation of Joint Reaction Forces

Conference paper
Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE, volume 62)


The gold standard for the analysis of human kinematics and kinetics is a camera-based motion capture system in combination with force measurement platforms. Alternatively, inertial measurement units can be utilized to obtain human kinematics, while ground reaction forces are computed from full body dynamics. This setup represents a system independent from the spatial confinement of a gait laboratory. The aim of this study is the comparison of the two methods by the investigation of lower limb kinematics and the resulting joint reaction forces within the ankle-, knee- and hip joints. For this purpose, human motion during gait was captured simultaneously by both measurement techniques. 13 trials from 8 different test subjects were evaluated in total. IMU data was processed with a quaternion based Kalman Filter. The data sets were implemented into a musculoskeletal simulation program in order to drive a virtual human body model. Each sensor was aligned to the gravitational and magnetic field vectors of the earth. The angles of flexions, extensions and rotations were analyzed to determine kinematic differences. Joint reaction forces defined kinetic dissimilarities. The overall kinematic differences of both models yielded root mean square errors of 7.62°, 6.02°, 4.95°, 2.79°, 2.38° and 3.56° for ankle flexion, subtalar eversion, knee flexion, hip external rotation, hip abduction and hip flexion, respectively. The proximo-distal differences in force peaks between the models yielded overall for the ankle, 57.33 %Bodyweight(BW) ± 46.86 %BW (16.66 %(Maximum peak to peak) ± 13.62 %) for the knee 37.09 %BW ± 29.33 %BW (17.65 % ± 15.44 %) and 32.03 %BW ± 24.33 %BW (15.6 % ± 12.54 %) for the hip. The overall outcome of this work investigated an approach independent of the common setup of the gait laboratory, thus enabling a cheaper and more flexible technology as an alternative. However, kinematic and thus kinetic differences remain rather large. Future work aims to improve the contact criterion for the calculation of the ground reaction forces and the implementation of a full-body calibration algorithm for the IMU system in order to counteract magnetic field disturbances.


Inertial Measurement Unit IMU Multibody Simulation Musculoskeletal Simulation AnyBody Ground Reaction Force Prediction Joint Reaction Forces Gait Motion Capture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regensburg Center of Biomedical EngineeringOTH Regensburg and University RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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