Estimation of human center of mass position through the inertial sensors-based methods in postural tasks: An accuracy evaluation

Marco Germanotta, Ilaria Mileti, Ilaria Conforti, Zaccaria Del Prete, Irene Aprile, Eduardo Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The estimation of the body’s center of mass (CoM) trajectory is typically obtained using force platforms, or optoelectronic systems (OS), bounding the assessment inside a laboratory setting. The use of magneto-inertial measurement units (MIMUs) allows for more ecological evaluations, and previous studies proposed methods based on either a single sensor or a sensors’ network. In this study, we compared the accuracy of two methods based on MIMUs. Body CoM was estimated during six postural tasks performed by 15 healthy subjects, using data collected by a single sensor on the pelvis (Strapdown Integration Method, SDI), and seven sensors on the pelvis and lower limbs (Biomechanical Model, BM). The accuracy of the two methods was compared in terms of RMSE and estimation of posturographic parameters, using an OS as reference. The RMSE of the SDI was lower in tasks with little or no oscillations, while the BM outperformed in tasks with greater CoM displacement. Moreover, higher correlation coefficients were obtained between the posturographic parameters obtained with the BM and the OS. Our findings showed that the estimation of CoM displacement based on MIMU was reasonably accurate, and the use of the inertial sensors network methods should be preferred to estimate the kinematic parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number601
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2021


  • Balance
  • CoM displacement
  • Human kinematic measurement
  • IMUs
  • Posturography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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