Istituto di Ingegneria Biomedica     
Cerveri P., Pedotti A., Ferrigno G. Kinematical models to reduce the effect of skin artifacts on marker-based human motion estimation. In: Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 38 pp. 2228 - 36. Elsevier, 2005.
The estimation of the skeletal motion obtained from marker-based motion capture systems is known to be affected by significant bias caused by skin movement artifacts, which affects joint center and rotation axis estimation. Among different techniques proposed in the literature, that based on rigid body model, still the most used by commercial motion capture systems, can smooth only part of the above effects without eliminating their main components. In order to sensibly improve the accuracy of the motion estimation, a novel technique, named local motion estimation (LME), is proposed. This rests on a recently described approach that, using virtual humans and extended Kalman filters, estimates the kinematical variables directly from 2D measurements without requiring the 3D marker reconstruction. In this paper, we show how such method can be extended to include the computation of the local marker displacement due to skin artifacts. The 3D marker coordinates, expressed in the corresponding local reference coordinate frames, are inserted into the state vector of the filter and their dynamics is automatically estimated, with adequate accuracy, without assuming any particular deformation function. Simulated experiments of lower limb motion, involving systematic mislocations (5, 10, 20 mm) and random errors of the marker coordinates and joint center locations (+/-5, +/-10, +/-15 mm), have shown that artifact motion can be substantially decoupled from the global skeletal motion with an effective increase of the accuracy wrt standard techniques. In particular, the comparison between the nominal kinematical variables and the one recovered from markers attached to the skin surface proved LME to be sensibly superior (50% in the worse condition) to the methods imposing marker-bone rigidity. In conclusion, while requiring further validation on real movement data, we argue that the proposed method can constitute an appropriate approach toward the improvement of the human motion estimation.
URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16154410
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.09.032
Subject Model-based kinematical estimation
Skin movement artifact
Kalman filters

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