Static and dynamic validation of inertial measurement units

Leah Taylor, Emily Miller, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Optical motion capture systems are used to assess human motion. While these systems provide a reliable analysis, they limit collection to a laboratory based setting. Devices such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) have been developed as alternative tools. Commercially available IMUs are utilized for a variety of applications; however limited work has been done to determine the reliability of these devices. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy and precision of a commercially available IMU, containing tri-axial accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, under controlled static and dynamic conditions. The sensor output was validated against the gold standard measures of custom made mechanical testing apparatuses. The IMUs provide an accurate (within 0.6°) and precise (within 0.1°) measurement of static sensor orientation and an accurate (within 4.4° per second) and precise (within 0.2° per second) representation of angular velocity. The sensors are more accurate at lower velocities, but the percent error remains relatively constant across all angular velocities. Inclusion of IMUs as an appropriate measurement tool should be based on the application, specific demands and necessary reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Angular velocity
  • Inertial measurement units
  • Orientation
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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