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Reliability of the step phase detection using inertial measurement units: pilot study

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2015, 15:25 by Salvatore Sessa, Massimiliano Zecca, Luca Bartolomeo, Takamichi Takashima, Hiroshi Fujimoto, Atsuo Takanishi
The use of inertial sensors for the gait event detection during a long-distance walking, for example, on different surfaces and with different walking patterns, is important to evaluate the human locomotion. Previous studies demonstrated that gyroscopes on the shank or foot are more reliable than accelerometers and magnetometers for the event detection in case of normal walking. However, these studies did not link the events with the temporal parameters used in the clinical practice; furthermore, they did not clearly verify the optimal position for the sensors depending on walking patterns and surface conditions. The event detection quality of the sensors is compared with video, used as ground truth, according to the parameters proposed by the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society. Additionally, the performance of the sensor on the foot is compared with the one on the shank. The comparison is performed considering both normal walking and deviations to the walking pattern, on different ground surfaces and with or without constraints on movements. The preliminary results show that the proposed methodology allows reliable detection of gait events, even in case of abnormal footfall and in slipping surface conditions, and that the optimal location to place the sensors is the shank.


This research has been supported by the JSPS Scientific Research-C grant [24500616], the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (Wakate B) [25750259], the Waseda University Grant for Special Research Projects (for new full-time faculty) [2014S-091], the Global COE Program ‘Global Robot Academia’, MEXT, Japan, and the Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care, Waseda University (ASMeW). This work has been also partially supported by a grant from STMicroelectronics, which also provided the core sensors and the microcontroller.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Healthcare Technology Letters


SESSA, S. ... et al, 2015. Reliability of the step phase detection using inertial measurement units: pilot study. Healthcare Technology Letters, 2 (2), pp. 58-63.


© The Institution of Engineering and Technology


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper is a postprint of a paper submitted to and accepted for publication in Healthcare Technology Letters and is subject to Institution of Engineering and Technology Copyright. The copy of record is available at IET Digital Library.






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