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Physiol Meas. 2008 Apr;29(4):N21-31. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/29/4/N01. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Study of the motion artefacts of skin-mounted inertial sensors under different attachment conditions.

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  • 1Bioengineering Group, Instituto de Automática Industrial (IAI-CSIC), Ctra de Campo Real km 0200, 28500 Arganda del Rey, Madrid, Spain.


A common problem shared by accelerometers, inertial sensors and any motion measurement method based on skin-mounted sensors is the movement of the soft tissues covering the bones. The aim of this work is to propose a method for the validation of the attachment of skin-mounted sensors. A second-order (mass-spring-damper) model was proposed to characterize the behaviour of the soft tissue between the bone and the sensor. Three sets of experiments were performed. In the first one, different procedures to excite the system were evaluated to select an adequate excitation stimulus. In the second one, the selected stimulus was applied under varying attachment conditions while the third experiment was used to test the model. The heel drop was chosen as the excitation method because it showed lower variability and could discriminate between different attachment conditions. There was, in agreement with the model, a trend to increase the natural frequency of the system with decreasing accelerometer mass. An important result is the development of a standard procedure to test the bandwidth of skin-mounted inertial sensors, such as accelerometers mounted on the skin or markers heavier than a few grams.

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