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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2018, Article ID 4548396, 14 pages
Research Article

Method for Wearable Kinematic Gait Analysis Using a Harmonic Oscillator Applied to the Center of Mass

1Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Via Giovanni Durando 38/A, 20158 Milan, Italy
2CNR-IBFM, Via Fratelli Cervi 93, Segrate, 20090 Milan, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marcello Fusca; ti.imilop@acsuf.ollecram

Received 11 September 2017; Revised 2 February 2018; Accepted 1 March 2018; Published 4 April 2018

Academic Editor: Jesus Corres

Copyright © 2018 Marcello Fusca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A model based on a harmonic oscillator describing human walking and balance with the sinusoidal trajectory of the center of mass of a subject during gait is presented. This model allows overcoming the traditional drift due to the double integration of raw acceleration data. The protocol uses a single 3D accelerometer worn at the pelvis level. The system computes the spatiotemporal gait and balance parameters when the subject is walking with or without aids. An incremental methodological approach is proposed and followed in the implementation and accuracy assessment. Eleven healthy subjects have participated to the study performing 6 trials over a fixed linear walking path at a self-selected speed. For reference, the protocol has imposed the execution of 52 steps whose length has been fixed at 60 cm. Different processing methods have been implemented and tested. The model identifies steps, walking time, and stepping frequency with an excellent reliability (absolute percentage accuracy error < 5%). When the information about the expected step length is given to the model, the percentage error in the measure of walking distance and speed is 3.25%. Without this input, this error rises to 4.95%, while for the anthropometric method is 3.68%.