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J Med Eng Technol. 2019 Jan;43(1):25-32. doi: 10.1080/03091902.2019.1599073. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Methodology and validation for identifying gait type using machine learning on IMU data.

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a Mechanical Engineering, Berks College , The Pennsylvania State University , Reading , PA , USA.


With the rising popularity of activity tracking, there is a desire to not only count the number of steps a person takes, but also identify the type of step (e.g., walking or running) they are taking. For rehabilitation and athletic training, this difference is important to the prescribed regiment. Fourteen healthy adults walked, jogged and ran on a treadmill at three different constant speeds (1.21, 2.01, 2.68 m/s) for 90 s. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) with accelerometer and gyroscope was affixed to their left ankle. Collected acceleration and angular velocity data were partitioned into individual time-normalised strides. These data were used as features in the artificial neural network (ANN) that classified the type of stride. Several ANN models were tested: using only acceleration, only angular velocity and both. Using primarily acceleration data in the trained ANN yielded the best results (>94% correct stride-type identification) after cross-validation. The ANN models were able to accurately classify the gait type of each stride using a single wearable IMU. The accuracy of the method should improve further as more data is added to the ANN training.


Artificial neural network; accelerometer; gait identification; gyroscope; wearable sensor

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