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Optimal Estimation of Supporting-Ground Orientation for Multi-Segment Body Based on Otolith-Canal Fusion

Authors: Karim A. Tahboub


This article discusses the problem of estimating the orientation of inclined ground on which a human subject stands based on information provided by the vestibular system consisting of the otolith and semicircular canals. It is assumed that body segments are not necessarily aligned and thus forming an open kinematic chain. The semicircular canals analogues to a technical gyrometer provide a measure of the angular velocity whereas the otolith analogues to a technical accelerometer provide a measure of the translational acceleration. Two solutions are proposed and discussed. The first is based on a stand-alone Kalman filter that optimally fuses the two measurements based on their dynamic characteristics and their noise properties. In this case, no body dynamic model is needed. In the second solution, a central extended disturbance observer that incorporates a body dynamic model (internal model) is employed. The merits of both solutions are discussed and demonstrated by experimental and simulation results.

Keywords: Kalman Filter, orientation estimation, otolith-canalfusion, vestibular system

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