Low Cost Inertial Sensors for the Motion Tracking and Orientation Estimation of Human Upper Limbs in Neurological Rehabilitation

Lu Bai, Matthew G. Pepper, Yong Yan, Malcolm Phillips, Mohamed Sakel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
440 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents the feasibility of utilizing low cost inertial sensors such as those found in Sony Move, Nintendo Wii (Wii Remote with Wii MotionPlus) and smartphones for upper limb motion monitoring in neurorehabilitation. Kalman and complementary filters based on data fusion are used to estimate sensor 3D orientation. Furthermore, a two-segment kinematic model was developed to estimate limb segment position tracking. Performance has been compared with a high-accuracy measurement system using the Xsens MTx. The experimental results show that Sony Move, Wii and smartphones can be used for measuring upper limb orientation, while Sony Move and smartphones can also be used for specific applications of upper limb segment joint orientation and position tracking during neurorehabilitation. Sony Move’s accuracy is within 1.5° for Roll and Pitch and 2.5° for Yaw and position tracking to within 0.5 cm over a 10 cm movement. This accuracy in measurement is thought to be adequate for upper limb orientation and position tracking. Low cost inertial sensors can be used for the accurate assessment/measurement of upper limb movement of patients with neurological disorders and also makes it a low cost replacement for upper limb motion measurements. The low cost inertial sensing systems were shown to be able to accurately measure upper limb joint orientation and position during neurorehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9036872
Pages (from-to)54254 - 54268
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date16 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Mar 2020


  • 3D motion tracking
  • Inertial tracking
  • kinematic model
  • low cost inertial sensors
  • upper limb motion


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