Ambulatory Center of Mass Prediction Using Body Accelerations and Center of Foot Pressure
The center of body mass (COM), center of foot pressure (COP), and body segment acceleration signals are commonly used to indicate movement performance and stability during standing activities and walking. For balance maintenance and restoration, the human brain is capable of estimating and predicting the COM even in the absence of visual or vestibular information. Thus, we hypothesized that the COM may be acquired through the processing of proprioceptive somatosensory information, represented by body segment accelerations, and an external spatial reference, the ground support, represented by the COP. To investigate this hypothesis, we modeled the relationships that exist between the COP and accelerometer data with the 3-D COM trajectory, during walking on firm and irregular surfaces. The models accounted for 99.85 plusmn 0.20% and 99.77 plusmn 0.39% of the resultant COM trajectory's variability for the firm and irregular surfaces, respectively. This corresponded to a percentage error between the estimated and actual resultant COM of 16.06 plusmn 11.11% for the firm surface and 21.41 plusmn 12.70% for the doweling surface. In turn, this translates into an absolute error between the true and actual resultant COM of 3.62 plusmn 2.69 cm and 4.74 plusmn 3.01 cm for the firm and doweling surfaces, respectively. The model is novel in that it does not require any calibration and provides a reasonably accurate estimation of the COM, which can be compared to the brain's balance performance. Hence, this model could be used instead of the cumbersome method of video motion analysis for COM calculation.