Cost Efficient Gait Analysis Using Lasers

Topics: Locomotion, Walking, Gait analysis Pages: 7 (2350 words) Published: January 28, 2013
Cost Efficient Gait Analysis Using Lasers
Isac Zia

under the direction of Prof. Hamed Hamid Muhammed School of Technology and Health KTH

Research Academy for Young Scientists July 11, 2012

Abstract Gait analysis is the methodic measurement, description and evaluation of factors that affect human locomotion. It can be used for rehabilitation purposes, for optimizing sport results and lower risks of injury and as a diagnostic tool for neurological diseases, example given Parkinson. Hitherto, there are many precise methods of doing gait analysis. However, expensive equipment is often required, otherwise the only option is visual analysis, which is less reliable. This study will construct an inexpensive method to analyze gait, that is both reliable and portable. One laser was attached to each shoulder and two on a helmet put on the subjects’ heads. The lasers formed a formation of laser dots on the ceiling. The test subjects walked on a treadmill, which caused the laser dots to move. These were recorded with a camera. The video sequences were then analyzed with a program written in Matlab. The results showed the laser movement, as intended. By analysing the laser movement in different walking conditions, for example with different shoes, it was shown in this study that they differed and the method could be useful to compare gait. However, further research needs to be undertaken in order to confirm these findings.

Biomechanics is an increasingly well-known field of research, which takes a mechanical approach to the human body. As a combination between mechanics and biology, it can help increase our knowledge in orthopaedics and ergonomics, but also in other areas such as rehabilitation and sports [4, 5, 7]. An important sub-field of biomechanics is gait analysis which is the methodical measurement, description and evaluation of factors that affect human locomotion [1, 6]. The invention of the camera made it possible to investigate human bipedal locomotion more accurately. However, this early technique required the pictures to be analyzed frame by frame, which was ineffecient and time-consuming. As technology developed and computers enabled faster analysis, gait analysis became more efficient [2, 6]. Using clinical gait analysis, joint disabilities and some neurological diseases like Parkinson can be discovered and evaluated in an early stage [2, 4, 6]. Gait analysis can also be used to identify individuals, for example, in recorded security footage after a crime scene. This identifying type of gait analysis is called biometric gait analysis [4, 9]. A common method in motion analysis is tracking. There are many forms of tracking, where the common denominator is video analysis. Tracking is often divided into three steps when analysing videos. First, the moving objects of interest are detected, then these are tracked one frame at a time, and at last these tracks get analyzed to identify their behaviour or inconsistent movements [8]. Tracking is a useful tool when analysing gait, since gait is a complex motion needed to be investigated, divided into as small parts as possible. Hitherto, there are many precise methods of gait analysis. The problem with these are that they are either too expensive and need special laboratories for analysis, which results in both economical and practical disadvantages, or inexpensive, but based on only visual analysis and therefore are more unreliable [3, 5, 6]. In this study, a new, less expensive and


portable method, based on tracking the motion patterns of laser diodes attached to the body, is tested and evaluated to find differences of the gait of the individual.

In this study the gait is analyzed by filming the movement of lasers, attached to a walking person. The gait is subsequently analyzed with Matlab to see whether there are differences between locomotion that can be examined with lasers as help. Four lasers were mounted on the test subject...
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