Exploring Inertial Sensor Fusion Methods for Direct Ergonomic Assessments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The industrial site, particularly assembly lines, encompass repetitive labour processes which are considered an ergonomic risk factor for the onset of musculoskeletal disorders. Direct assessments methods promote faster ergonomic feedback, supporting the development of sustainable working conditions. This work presents an upper-body motion tracker framework using inertial sensors to provide direct measurements for ergonomics research. An experimental assessment performed by 14 subjects was completed in order to evaluate the joint angle reconstruction of the proposed method while using the measures of an optical motion capture system as reference. This study investigated the results of three distinct complementary sensor fusion techniques, namely the quaternion-based complementary filter, the Mahony filter and the Madgwick filter. Furthermore, foreseeing the possibility of magnetic disturbance in industrial environments, a comparison was conducted between methods that use magnetic data, i.e. 9-axis, and other inertial-based approaches that do not require magnetic information, i.e. 6-axis. A quantitative analysis was performed using two metrics, the cumulative distribution function and the root-mean-square error, hence, providing an evaluation for the different sensor fusion approaches. The overall results suggest that the 9-axis Madgwick filter although noisier presents a more accurate angular reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies
Subtitle of host publication13th International Joint Conference, BIOSTEC 2020, Valletta, Malta, February 24–26, 2020, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsXuesong Ye, Filipe Soares, Elisabetta De Maria, Pedro Gómez Vilda, Federico Cabitza, Ana Fred, Hugo Gamboa
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-72379-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-72378-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event13th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2020 - Valetta, Malta
Duration: 24 Feb 202026 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1400 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference13th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2020


  • Ergonomics
  • Industry
  • Inertial sensors
  • Motion capture
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Sensor fusion


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