Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Director

Stacie I. Ringleb

Committee Member

Hunter J. Bennett

Committee Member

Sebastian Y. Bawab


The implementation of inertial measurement units (IMU) in the biomechanical field has become increasingly popular due to their robustness, simplicity, accuracy, and the ability to move research out of a lab and into the real world. In this study, the MetaMotion IMU sensors are assessed for validity against a dynamometer and the Vicon motion capture system. Both systems have proven their measuring accuracies in the biomechanics world and are used as the truth source for this validation study. In the first part of this study, the sensors are assessed for various common sensor errors. Individual sensor components of the IMU, the accelerometer and the gyroscope are validated against the dynamometer by measuring orientation and angular velocity, respectively. In the second part of this study, three subjects performed several gait trials while tracking their movements simultaneously with the MetaMotion sensors and the Vicon system. A dynamic sensor to segment alignment method is adopted in an attempt to accurately define the MetaMotion orientation with respect to the body’s segments. Sensor fusion is used to filter the IMU data by combining the measurements of the accelerometer and gyroscope to report orientation presented as knee angles. A statistical agreement assessment is performed at peak values to predict the accuracies and reliability of the MetaMotion sensors when compared to the dynamometer and Vicon systems. Results suggest the possibility of using MetaMotion sensors in biomechanical research studies in place of modern testing techniques such as optical motion capture. Limitations are expressed and future work is suggested to better account for types of sensor error, test various movements and develop alignment methods for more complex joints.


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