Estimation of Gait Mechanics Based on Simulated and Measured IMU Data Using an Artificial Neural Network

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Enhancement of activity is one major topic related to the aging society. Therefore, it is necessary to understand people's motion and identify possible risk factors during activity. Technology can be used to monitor motion patterns during daily life. Especially the use of artificial intelligence combined with wearable sensors can simplify measurement systems and might at some point replace the standard motion capturing using optical measurement technologies. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the estimation of 3D joint angles and joint moments of the lower limbs based on IMU data using a feedforward neural network. The dataset summarizes optical motion capture data of former studies and additional newly collected IMU data. Based on the optical data, the acceleration and angular rate of inertial sensors was simulated. The data was augmented by simulating different sensor positions and orientations. In this study, gait analysis was undertaken with 30 participants using a conventional motion capture set-up based on an optoelectronic system and force plates in parallel with a custom IMU system consisting of five sensors. A mean correlation coefficient of 0.85 for the joint angles and 0.95 for the joint moments was achieved. The RMSE for the joint angle prediction was smaller than 4.8° and the nRMSE for the joint moment prediction was below 13.0%. Especially in the sagittal motion plane good results could be achieved. As the measured dataset is rather small, data was synthesized to complement the measured data. The enlargement of the dataset improved the prediction of the joint angles. While size did not affect the joint moment prediction, the addition of noise to the dataset resulted in an improved prediction accuracy. This indicates that research on appropriate augmentation techniques for biomechanical data is useful to further improve machine learning applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalFrontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 05.02.2020

ID: 5204447


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