Blog Posts

Shoe Sensors for Simplified PDR

Despite being around for almost two decades, foot-mounted inertial navigation only has gotten a limited spread. Contributing factors to this are lack of suitable hardware platforms and difficult system integration. As a solution to this, authors present an open-source wireless foot-mounted inertial navigation module with an intuitive and significantly simplified pedestrian dead reckoning interface. In summary, the module provides a modularization of the foot-mounted inertial navigation and makes the technology significantly easier to use.

 

A Stride

One can use the understanding of human walking to mitigate or minimize the effect of imperfections in the tracking sensor system.

There is a phase in human walk (0:05s to 0:11s in the video) when the foot sole makes contact with ground and comes to complete standstill for this brief duration. If we can somehow detect this moment, we can use this zero-velocity instance to compare with the shoe-sensor's reading at that moment.

 

Understanding oblu's calibration

multi-IMU array systems like "oblu" are opening up new possibilities for inertial sensing. However, to make these systems practical, calibration and misalignment compensation of IMU arrays are necessary. A simple calibration procedure that aligns the sensitivity axes of the sensors in the array is needed. This article suggests a novel mechanical-rotation-rig-free calibration procedure. A simple 3D printable 20-faced polyhedron (Icosahedron) can do the job.

Python-scripts for the parameter estimation are available for download under Support->Resources section.

On Shoe Sensors' Performance

Thorough experimental study is conducted on the shoe sensors to investigate the performance that can be expected in mass market applications. The encouraging test results indicate its potential for a variety of indoor Location Based Services (LBS) and IoT applications based on foot-mounted inertial sensing and dead reckoning. Innovative use of social media network, cloud services and Big data analysis with the wearable Osmium MIMU22BTP would fuel big innovation and unleash its potential. The paper also covers very good overview of the MIMU22BTP sensor system.

oblu @ Techkriti, IIT Kanpur

It was great interacting with the young tech savvy crowd at the very popular technology fair, Techkriti, at IIT Kanpur. Visitors, in huge numbers, volunteered for demo and experienced the technology. They had numerous queries after their first hand experience. And we enjoyed answering those.

oblu @ Zest, HBTU

Visitors were quite fascinated by seeing such products being developed in their own town. Many of the engineering students want to carry out their projects using "oblu". It feels glad to make such a niche technology affordable and accessible for STEM education. Technology Democratized !

Talk on Wearable Systems

Thanks KIT for inviting Amit and Subhojyoti of team oblu to deliver a talk over Demystifying Wearable Embedded Systems. The students were introduced to MEMS, inertial sensors, indoor positioning systems, pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) and a lot more. As a case study, role of oblu as a PDR sensor in tracking firefighters during rescue operation and indoor navigation of robots were demoed.


Geo-survey with Foot-sensors

Foot mounted inertial navigation systems, which can be used for personnel tracking, also have potential application in surveying where the satellite signals are not easily available. Aaditya Verma of Geoinformatics, Dept of Civil Engg, IIT Kanpur successfully defends his M.Tech. thesis titled "Analysis of Foot-Mounted Navigation System for Surveying". His work investigates the possibility of using such foot mounted inertial navigation systems in the field of surveying. Thank you Aaditya Verma and Prof Bharat Lohani for your contribution in the advancement of technology !

PDR with Foot-Mounted Sensors

PDR gets simplified with our foot sensor- oblu. In simple words, the sensor detects steps, computes displacement and heading of each detected step w.r.t the previous one and transmit it over Bluetooth to the application platform (Phone/Tab/Radio) for construction of the tracked path.

Warehouse management, first responders' tracking, augmented reality, indoor navigation, gait analysis, geo-survey etc are some of the applications of such sensors. 

Navigate With Low-cost Sensors

Isaac Skog (Researcher, Signal Processing Department, KTH, Sweden) explains how the combination of motion model (the zero-velocity-update approach) and sensor fusion (the multi-IMU approach) improve performance and thus enable indoor positioning and motion sensing applications with the help of ultra low cost inertial sensors.

 

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