Upper Limb Position Tracking with a Single Inertial Sensor Using Dead Reckoning Method with Drift Correction Techniques

Lu Bai, Matthew G. Pepper, Zhibao Wang, Maurice D. Mulvenna, Raymond R. Bond, Dewar Finlay, Huiru Zheng, David T. Fullwood (Editor), Anton E. Bowden (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Inertial sensors are widely used in human motion monitoring. Orientation and position are the two most widely used measurements for motion monitoring. Tracking with the use of multiple inertial sensors is based on kinematic modelling which achieves a good level of accuracy when biomechanical constraints are applied. More recently, there is growing interest in tracking motion with a single inertial sensor to simplify the measurement system. The dead reckoning method is commonly used for estimating position from inertial sensors. However, significant errors are generated after applying the dead reckoning method because of the presence of sensor offsets and drift. These errors limit the feasibility of monitoring upper limb motion via a single inertial sensing system. In this paper, error correction methods are evaluated to investigate the feasibility of using a single sensor to track the movement of one upper limb segment. These include zero velocity update, wavelet analysis and high-pass filtering. The experiments were carried out using the nine-hole peg test. The results show that zero velocity update is the most effective method to correct the drift from the dead reckoning-based position tracking. If this method is used, then the use of a single inertial sensor to track the movement of a single limb segment is feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Article number360
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partly supported by the University of Kent and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) for this PhD project funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • Article
  • upper limb motion monitoring
  • inertial sensor
  • zero velocity update
  • dead reckoning
  • wavelet analysis
  • high-pass filter


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