The advancements in the technology of MEMS fabrication has been phenomenal in recent years. In no mean measure this has been the result of continued demand from the consumer electronics market to make devices smaller and better. MEMS inertial measuring units (IMUs) have found revolutionary applications in a wide array of fields like medical instrumentation, navigation, attitude stabilization and virtual reality. It has to be noted though that for advanced applications of motion tracking, navigation and guidance the cost of the IMUs is still pretty high. This is mainly because the process of calibration and signal processing used to get highly stable results from MEMS IMU is an expensive and time-consuming process. Also to be noted is the inevitability of using external sensors like GPS or camera for aiding the IMU data due to the error propagation in IMU measurements adds to the complexity of the system.
First an efficient technique is proposed to acquire clean and stable data from unaided IMU measurements and then proceed to use that system for tracking human motion. First part of this report details the design and development of the low-cost inertial measuring system ‘yIMU’. This thesis intends to bring together seemingly independent techniques that were highly application specific into one monolithic algorithm that is computationally efficient for generating reliable orientation estimates. Second part, systematically deals with development of a tracking routine for human limb movements. The validity of the system has then been verified.
The central idea is that in most cases the use of expensive MEMS IMUs is not warranted if robust smart algorithms can be deployed to gather data at a fraction of the cost. A low-cost prototype has been developed comparable to tactical grade performance for under $15 hardware. In order to further the practicability of this device we have applied it to human motion tracking with excellent results. The commerciality of device has hence been thoroughly established.
- Robust human motion tracking using low-cost inertial sensors