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Efficient Multiaxial Shoulder-Motion Tracking Based on Flexible Resistive Sensors Applied to Exosuits

AuthorsSamper-Escudero, J. Luis; Contreras-González, Aldo F.; Ferre, Manuel ; Sánchez-Urán, Miguel A.; Pont-Esteban, David
Soft exoskeletons
Wearable robot
Motion measurement
Shoulder tracking
Flexible resistive sensors
Soft sensing
Issue Date2-Jun-2020
PublisherMary Ann Liebert
CitationSoft Robotics 7 (3): 370-386 (2020)
AbstractThis article describes the performance of a flexible resistive sensor network to track shoulder motion. This system monitors every gesture of the human shoulder in its range of motion except rotations around the longitudinal axis of the arm. In this regard, the design considers the movement of the glenohumeral, acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, and scapulothoracic joints. The solution presented in this work considers several sensor configurations and compares its performance with a set of inertial measurement units (IMUs). These devices have been put together in a shoulder suit with Optitrack visual markers in order to be used as pose ground truth. Optimal configurations of flexible resistive sensors, in terms of accuracy requirements and number of sensors, have been obtained by applying principal component analysis techniques. The data provided by each configuration are then mapped onto the shoulder pose by using neural network algorithms. According to the results shown in this article, a set of flexible resistive sensors can be an adequate alternative to IMUs for multiaxial shoulder pose tracking in open spaces. Furthermore, the system presented can be easily embedded in fabric or wearable devices without obstructing the user’s motion.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2019.0040
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