An adaptive-gain complementary filter for real-time human motion tracking with MARG sensors in free-living environments

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High-resolution, real-time data obtained by human motion tracking systems can be used for gait analysis, which helps better understanding the cause of many diseases for more effective treatments, such as rehabilitation for outpatients or recovery from lost motor functions after a stroke. In order to achieve real-time ambulatory human motion tracking with low-cost MARG (magnetic, angular rate, and gravity) sensors, a computationally efficient and robust algorithm for orientation estimation is critical. This paper presents an analytically derived method for an adaptive-gain complementary filter based on the convergence rate from the Gauss-Newton optimization algorithm (GNA) and the divergence rate from the gyroscope, which is referred as adaptive-gain orientation filter (AGOF) in this paper. The AGOF has the advantages of one iteration calculation to reduce the computing load and accurate estimation of gyroscope measurement error. Moreover, for handling magnetic distortions especially in indoor environments and movements with excessive acceleration, adaptive measurement vectors and a reference vector for earth's magnetic field selection schemes are introduced to help the GNA find more accurate direction of gyroscope error. The features of this approach include the accurate estimation of the gyroscope bias to correct the instantaneous gyroscope measurements and robust estimation in conditions of fast motions and magnetic distortions. Experimental results are presented to verify the performance of the proposed method, which shows better accuracy of orientation estimation than several well-known methods. © 2001-2011 IEEE.

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IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering