Paolini, Gabriele and Peruzzi, Agnese and Mirelman, Anat and Cereatti, Andrea and Gaukrodger, S. and Hausdorff, J. and Della Croce, U. (2013) Validation of a method for real time foot position and orientation tracking with Microsoft Kinect Technology for use in virtual reality and treadmill based gait training programs. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. PP (99). ISSN 1534-4320. eISSN 1558-0210. Article.
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The use of virtual reality for the provision of motor-cognitive gait training has been shown to be effective for a variety of patient populations. The interaction between the user and the virtual environment is achieved by tracking the motion of the body parts and replicating it in the virtual environment in real time. In this paper, we present the validation of a novel method for tracking foot position and orientation in real time, based on the Microsoft Kinect technology, to be used for gait training combined with virtual reality. The validation of the motion tracking method was performed by comparing the tracking performance of the new system against a stereo-photogrammetric system used as gold standard. Foot position errors were in the order of a few millimeters (average RMSD from 4.9 mm to 12.1 mm in the medio-lateral and vertical directions, from 19.4 mm to 26.5 mm in the anterior-posterior direction); the foot orientation errors were also small (average %RMSD from 5.6% to 8.8% in the medio-lateral and vertical directions, from 15.5% to 18.6% in the anterior-posterior direction). The results suggest that the proposed method can be effectively used to track feet motion in virtual reality and treadmill-based gait training programs.
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