Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



The most common motion analysis method uses cameras to track the position of markers on bodily surfaces over time. Although each species has a common skeletal frame to reference recorded motions, the soft tissue covering each is not rigid. Markers, therefore, experience motion relative to the bone and do not accurately portray underlying bone activity. This limits clinical use of motion studies and the understanding of joint motion. Use of MEMS accelerometers for removing soft tissue artifact, motion relative to the bone, from surface measurements and determining the position of the underlying bone was investigated. An animal limb was modeled experimentally as a double pendulum with soft tissue as sprung masses with motions perpendicular to the pendulums. Horizontal motion was cycled at the top joint with a 25 cm stroke. Position data obtained from the mass with a Codamotion™ system and integrated accelerometer data were combined in a Kalman filter to determine global position. Acceleration data in the sensor coordinate system determined tissue artifact and were compared to measurements using CODA markers on the mass and pendulum. Removing artifact from mass position estimated pendulum position over time. In determining mass position, integrated accelerometer data experienced drift, deviating from reasonable values and were determined impractical for Kalman filter input. This led to using only the CODA-determined position as the true position. Accelerometer artifacts resulted in mean differences with the CODA markers of less than 1 mm over 3 cm displacements excluding a mass with mechanical difficulties. The largest mean difference across four tests was 0.66 mm, which is 96.17 percent accurate. Mean differences between base positions collected from accelerometers and CODA markers were found for the global x and y directions. Maximum deviations were 1.64 mm and 4.45 mm, respectively, which are 99.56 and 99.63 percent accurate. Results show the effectiveness of this procedure in calculating the location of the bases of sprung masses in two dimensions. The basis of this research contributes to the determination of bone position over time that will increase the potential of understanding fundamental, rigid body and joint motions in a clinical setting using noninvasive methods.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Michael C. Murphy