A prototype wireless inertial-sensing device for measuring toe clearance

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Lai, Daniel, Charry, Edgar, Begg, Rezaul and Palaniswami, M (2008) A prototype wireless inertial-sensing device for measuring toe clearance. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference Proceedings. pp. 4899-4902. ISSN 1557-170X


Tripping and slipping are serious health concerns for the elderly because they result in life threatening injuries i.e., fractures and high medical costs. Our recent work in detection of tripping gait patterns has demonstrated that minimum toe clearance (MTC) is a sensitive falls risk predictor. MTC measurement has previously been done in gait laboratories and on treadmills which potentially imposes controlled walking conditions. In this paper, we describe a prototype design of a wireless device for monitoring vertical toe clearance. The sensors consists of a tri-axis accelerometer and dual-axis gyroscope connected to Crossbow sensor motes for wireless data transmission. Sensor data are transmitted to a laptop and displayed on a Matlab graphic user interface (GUI). We have performed zero base and treadmill experiments to investigate sensor performance to environmental variations and compared the calculated toe clearance against measurements made by an Optotrak motion system. It was found that device outputs were approximately independent of small ambient temperature variations, had a reliable range of 20m indoors and 50m outdoors and a maximum transmission rate of 20 packets/s. Toe clearance measurements were found to follow the Optotrak measurement trend but could be improved further by dealing with double integration errors and improving data transmission rates.

Additional Information

30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3775
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0903 Biomedical Engineering
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords ResPubID16462, tripping, slipping, health concerns for elderly, detection of tripping gait patterns, minimum toe clearance (MTC), falls risk predictor, prototype design of wireless device for monitoring vertical toe clearance
Citations in Scopus 16 - View on Scopus
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