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IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, VOL. 9, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2009

**Textile-Based Electrogoniometers for Wearable Posture and Gesture Capture Systems
**

Federico Lorussi, Stefano Galatolo, and Danilo E. De Rossi

Abstract—This paper introduces a method for detecting joint angles by using piezoresistive strain sensitive materials, as carbon loaded rubbers are. Materials used can be screen-printed onto fabrics to provide garments with a sensing apparatus able to reconstruct human postures and gestures. The main differences between this approach and the previous ones, and the core of this work, is the rigorous proof that for small local curvatures of the layers the constituting electrogoniometers, the resistance depends only on the total curvature of the layers and not on the particular form that the sensor keeps in adherence with the human body. In this paper, we show that the hypothesis of small local curvature does not severely restrict the set of angles which can be detected. Index Terms—Biomechanical variable analysis, carbon elastomers, electrogoniometers.

I. INTRODUCTION

C

LASSICALLY, systems devoted to motion capture belong to the set of optical-based systems, magnetic tracking systems or electrogoniometers. These systems can be quite accurate, but they operate in a restricted area or they require the application of obtrusive parts on the subject body. For these reasons, they are not suitable for long-term on-body monitoring. On the other hand, the development of new wearable systems enables engineers to design systems which satisfy user’s requirements of comfort, ubiquitous, and long-term monitoring. Current prototypes realized by these emergent technologies use microelectromechanical transducers or textile-based transducers. In the ﬁrst category, we can group accelerometer and magnetometer-based devices. They are widely used in measuring multi-axis joint angles between body segments [1], [2] or in determining the activity of human subjects [3]. Information provided by these sensors is accurate and continuous, but biomechanical reconstruction in terms of joint angles is actually difﬁcult, being strongly dependent on sensor location and limited to quasi-static applications. Moreover, using off-the-shelf sensors to realize these devices lead to uncomfortable and cumbersome implementations. Newly developed technologies in smart fabrics consent to embed

Manuscript received March 26, 2008; revised September 05, 2008; accepted September 15, 2008. Current version published July 29, 2009. The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication was Prof. Paul Regtien. F. Lorussi and D. E. De Rossi are with the Department of Information Engineer and the Interdepartmental Research Center “E. Piaggio,” University of Pisa, 57100 Pisa, Italy (e-mail: f.lorussi@ing.unipi.it; d.derossi@ing.unipi.it). S. Galatolo is with the Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Pisa, I-56127 Pisa, Italy (e-mail: s.galatolo@ing.unipi.it). Color versions of one or more of the ﬁgures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identiﬁer 10.1109/JSEN.2009.2024867

functionalities into common use objects such as garments. In particular, physiological and biomechanical variable acquisition has become available by several textile-based prototypes [4]. Textile-based piezoresistive transducers are an innovative category of devices that use yarns made of conductive and elastic ﬁbers or screen printed conductive rubber coatings to sense strain [6], [7]. They usually satisfy wearability requirements and are used in real-time information gathering systems; they include knitted ﬁber transducers (KFTs), sewed ﬁber transducers (SFTs), and smeared redundant elastomer (SRETs) transducers. KFTs in principle consent the realization of full garments with ideal body ﬁtting. The difﬁculty in modeling the hysteretic and nonisotropic relation between stretching and resistance in the weft knitted loop, however, does not yet permit applications in complex motion analysis. To date they have been used as motion switches or respiratory frequency monitors [8]. Encouraging results in terms of biomechanical reconstruction have been obtained by using inductive KFT transducers [9]. The use of SFTs in posture and movement analysis is described in [10] although they suffer of the same limitations of KFTs. Garments realized with this technique satisfy wearability requirements, but their application in multiaxis joint angle measurement is still far from reach with present embodiments. SRETs have been employed, as strain sensors networks, to detect human posture and gesture [11]. Elastic interconnection wiring is also easily realized leading to monolithic fabrication techniques which avoid the presence of metal wires and multiple solderings. Real-time 3-D reconstruction of body kinematics has been hard to obtain, since the advantages presented by SRETs inevitably lead to a strong dependence of the system performance by the body structure garment ﬁtting. In few words, the skin (and covering fabric) stretching corresponding to different state of a joint differs form a subject to another, so the use of strain sensors adherent to skin has to be personalized according to the subject anthropometry. This problem has been solved by considering the human kinematic chain as a part of the system [12]. By using identiﬁcation algorithms, functions which relate joint angles to electrical values presented by the sensor network have been created. The construction of these functions is quite complex and time of computation dramatically increases with the number of degrees of freedom and with the accuracy required to the system to be resolved [7]. In the following, the global curvature of a SRET layer will be related to the electrical resistance value variation and we will explore under which condition the resistance can be considered uncorrelated with its particular bending proﬁle. The conﬁguration proposed in this work is primarily aimed at reducing

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in principle. Molds have been placed in an oven at a temperature of 130 C. c: 10%. i. fully compatible with industrial textile technology. 1. obtaining samples having 200 mm length. specimens have been realized by directly casting WACKER’s CE in rectangular teﬂon moulds. we analyze the difference between a single-layer and double-layer system.5% [7]. then electrical resistance was measured by the four point technique performed by a Keithley multimeter. Current injected in the CE and voltage drop for different extension of the ﬁlm: a: 20%. 20 mm width.08 C . by both analytical results and simulations. The integration of SRET arrays and SCEEGs will deﬁnitely provide a powerful tool for human body posture and gesture reconstruction through efﬁcient and fast algorithms. the cross-sectional area. The working principle behind the wearable. and 1 mm thickness. CE we used is a commercial product by WACKER Ltd. textile-based sensors presented in this paper is described in the following section.. The 5 temperature coefﬁcient of resistance has also been measured to be 0. They show an initial electrical resistance of about and 1. however. can be employed in medical and pharmaceutical applications [13]. These conﬁgurations somehow resemble those described in [14] and [15]. They can be integrated into fabric or into other ﬂexible substrate and employed as strain gauge sensors. is conceived to be compatible with existing textile technology and easy to integrate into a garment. guarantees the nontoxicity of the product that. while the resistivity can be assumed constant under small deformations or low current. We intend here to analyze and test the feasibility of sensing structures which behave similarly to classical electrogoniometers being. that the geometrical properties of this device consent to measure angles with good accuracy even if the device undergoes deformations having bounded curvature. only sensors conform to it . (Elastosil LR 3162 A/B) and it consists of a mixture containing graphite and silicon rubber. In this study. Specimens have been tested by experimental trials to determine their electromechanical properties. as carbon loaded rubber. with reasonable approximation.LORUSSI et al.5). is estimated to be 2. The specimens were stretched up to the length described in the ﬁrst column of Table I. Since error estimation in the double-layer conﬁguration is predicted (see Section IV) to be much lower. deformation of ﬁlm extremities which locally change shape. conﬁrming the theoretical results and the expected properties of the proposed electrogoniometric system. This result will ensure the possibility to detect different joint angles in different subjects without accounting for the differences in body structure and with no subject calibration of the system. In this paper. which is very reasonable for a rubbery material (Poisson ratio: 0. To neglect. Prototypes have been constructed and experimental trials performed (Section V). This provision also ensures that current lines in the tested segment are almost parallel. b: 15%. the liquid compound cross-links and in about the sensing elements are ready to be employed. The cross section of the sample at different extensions was calculated under the assumption of isovolumic deformation. These values are quite similar to those of metals and are suitable for the use of such sensors in wearable applications. Nonlinearity in the ratio between applied voltage and injected current are relevant for large deformations (over 20%) and current greater than 3–3. The same trial has been repeated by injecting different current values (up to 4 mA). however. It can be smeared on ﬂexible and elastic substrate through screen printing. 1. after vulcanization. We call this device smeared conductive elastomer electrogoniometer (SCEEG). Sensors can be.96 as gauge factor . Our embodiment. electrical tests have been performed only on the central part of the sample (having a rest length 100 mm) even if the total rest length of specimens were 200 mm. Resistivity values were calculated as where represents the electrical resistance. and the length of the specimen.1 GPa under quasi-static loading conditions.e. single. we present an electrogoniometric device which exploits the properties of strain sensitive materials. Obtained data have been analyzed statistically. Young modulus has been measured to be 0. d: 5%. by supplying the piezoresistive ﬁlm with a 2 mA constant current. The overall error which comprehend electric noise and low-frequency hysteresis. During this phase. realized into two alternative conﬁgurations..and double-layer benders. WACKER Ltd. MATERIALS AND DEVICE FABRICATION Electrically conductive elastomer composites (CE) show piezoresistive properties when a deformation is applied. Results of these experiments are summarized in Fig. in particular. as in the cases we considered in this work. characterizing the measurement TABLE I RESISTIVITY OF THE CE OBTAINED FOR DIFFERENT LENGTHS WHEN THE SPECIMEN IS FEEDED BY A 2 MA CURRENT Fig.5 mA. II. We show (in Sections III-IV). whose fabrication and material characterization are reported in Section II.: TEXTILE-BASED ELECTROGONIOMETERS FOR WEARABLE POSTURE AND GESTURE CAPTURE SYSTEMS 1015 computational complexity and time of SRET networks as surface stretch sensor arrays.

III. In order to prove our statement. Moreover. 9. 0. electrical resistance is related to the global curvature assumed during bending.e. is continuous. This is the only calibration the device requires. it is of a curve as where represents the canonical norm and describes the sign of the curvature. . the electromechanical properties of a complete device. made of two CE coupled layers are analyzed and the mapping between global curvatures and changes in differential resistance is provided in an explicit (and efﬁcient) form. differentiable. We want to show that for large curvature radii of the elastomeric ﬁlm (i. we remark some geometrical properties of planar curves which are necessary to describe the electrical properties of a CE specimen under shape modiﬁcation (Section III-A). let us recall that the canonical norm of a curve deﬁned on a interval is deﬁned as (2) . the electrical resistance of an inextensible elastomeric ﬁlm under bending is explicitly computed as an analytic function of its local thickness. NO. is differentiable. A double-layer device. of between and . some geometrical properties of differentiable curves and curvatures are remarked and we report some rein is a funcsults to prove our assumption. The Young modulus of the silicon rubber is about 0. respecis differentiable at . the treatment is reduced to a planar has to be regarded as one side of the problem and the curve intersection of the ﬁlm with the plane where the bending occurs. In Section III-B. In order to do that. i. the quantity (1) represents the angle between the tangent vectors and . To test the sensor performance and accuracy a preliminary embodiment was fabricated. at each point the local of the ﬁlm is small enough if compared with the curvature curve length and the thickness of the rubber sensor). VOL. its bending stiffness can be neglected. In Section III-C. During the assembly on the adhesive tape.1 GPa so. If possible to deﬁne the local curvature is its arc length. even if the section of the rubber is larger than the substrate one. let us consider the quantity (see also Fig. A curve .04 mm thickness) has been used to realize electrical contacts on the CE ﬁlm. A. THEORETICAL METHODS FOR CALCULATING ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE OF ELASTOMERIC FILMS UNDER BENDING In this section. A sector of circular crown and tangent vectors. 2.e.. A curve is said parametrized in normal form if for each . Fig. we will consider an elastomeric ﬁlm as a cylinder whose base is the face parallel to the plane in which the bending occurs. a light pretensioning has been given to the two sensing layers in order to set equal rest resistances. A weldable copper tape (4 mm width. 2). differentiable. we have which lead to (1). 3) When . said . Geometrical Properties of Regular Planar Curves and Notation In this section.. can be considered as the “total” curvature In this sense. tion if its components. seen as function are continuous. according to the right-hand form rule (it is positive if the couple of vectors an angle of 90 .1016 IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL. It is easy to prove is the curvature of a curve in normal form that if . Inextensible double-layer devices have been fabricated by applying two identical conductive elastomeric ﬁlm on a ﬂexible substrate (polyvynil chloride resin (VIPLA™) biadhesive tape provided with acrylic adhesive) having a thickness of 0. If in corresponding to the parameter is deﬁned as gent to the derivative . In fact. The subscript symbol will be omitted in the following. In order to neglect boundary effects.1 mm and a Young’s modulus of 15 GPa. . 9. negative if the angle is 270 ). we obtain a direct relation among the ﬁlm total resistance and its total curvature. 3. SEPTEMBER 2009 Fig. have been fabricated. the vector tantively. both for amperometric and for voltmetric measurements (see Fig. In this way. the specimens we used to realize the system are longer than the portion we used to detect angle.

the actual thickness of the Let us also indicate as ﬁlm after bending. implies or Hence. we have (8) and (9) for relation (6) and (7). 3) If the curve is a circle arc. since no assumptions have been made on the sign of the curvature. It states that each norm by curves constituted by the tially approximated in the union of ﬁnite sequences of circle arcs and it allow us to substitute any curve with a corresponding one having simpler geometrical properties. it is possible to enunciate the following. chosen there such that if then exists . completes the propcurves necessary to our treatment and will erties of be fundamental in relating total curvature and resistance of an curve can be substanelastomeric ﬁlm. By using this new function. according to the direction of bending. consider the expression (3) The proof that is a well deﬁned norm is trivial since the deﬁning relationship is subadictive. Note that can be greater or smaller than . the volume of the and is elastomeric material in the cylinder between . By circle arc having total curvature hypothesis (3). the following. then the elastomeric ﬁlm forms a circular crown. In this conﬁguration. . when the curve is a (straight) segment. In particular. Moreover. For each one. 2) The side of the specimen which matches with the curve is inextensible. Then. Let us remark that a curve made of circle arcs is not . have sudden discontinuities at points where different circles merge. length parametrized circle arcs . we will suppose that the width of the elastomeric ﬁlm is unitary. Both (6) and (7) have two solutions. i. be a curve parametrized by Lemma 1: Let there is a ﬁnite set with arc length. into a Let us now bend the device in order to transform and radius . the ﬁlm is mapped into a circular crown having as the radius of the side opposite to . 4) The elastomeric ﬁlm shape and its electrical resistance depend only on the curve and this dependence is continuous in the norm. expanded in Taylor’s series as follows: (10) and (11) . we indicate by the thickness of the elastomeric ﬁlm. evaluated for but they can be continuously extended. let us then consider a small modiﬁcation to the norm. Under this hypothesis. which provide the relationships (6) or (7) respectively. are undeﬁned in . B. The other . chosen such that and arc . and we consider a small segment all the length of having length . i. Solutions (8) and (9) can be continuously extended in and they can be. Total Electrical Resistance of an Elastomeric Film as a Function of the Local Thickness In the following. So. 1) The elastomer is mechanically isotropic and its deformation isovolumic. In the following. unless all circles have the same curvature. The area of the considered disc sector is given by (see Fig. respectively. concluding this subsection. by solving with respect to .e.. To formalize the needed result and include these kind of curves.. Let us consider the ﬁlm in ﬂat position. such that at above each point the right and left second derivatives and exist. a solution has an essential discontinuity for (or alternately ) and cannot be used for small bending. 3) or and by assumption (1). These curves. then 6) The elastomeric ﬁlm is electrically homogeneous and isotropic. respectively. let us remark that this notation . and that the behavior of the material on and to the curvature diparallel planes orthogonal both to rection is the same.: TEXTILE-BASED ELECTROGONIOMETERS FOR WEARABLE POSTURE AND GESTURE CAPTURE SYSTEMS 1017 The next result. If a curve is and piecewise .LORUSSI et al. however. such that the curve resulting by the union of the arcs (4) is and (5) The proof of the previous statement can be found in the Appendix. we will assume some properties of the elastomeric ﬁlm which account both for the volume symmetries of the material and the continuity of their properties under limited bending. forms a curve 5) If the union of two curves .e. which unchanges along . two solutions.

It is important to point out that in the Taylor‘s expansions of and . Let us conclude this section by computing the relationship between the resistance of a bent ﬁlm and its global curvature. and for the ﬁlm bending ‘‘saturates’’ and the circular crown degenerates into a circle sector (d). as well as (8) and (9) present removable discontinuities in . It is important to stress out that the signs of odd terms are opposite. on the length of the arc. case a) . the considered ﬁlm is for ‘‘convex’’ (with respect to the inextensible arc. for . the possibility to choose a curve and its sense is a crucial point because. the absolute values of all corresponding terms are equal. In particular. the two solutions correspond to the same degree of bending of the ﬁlm in opposite directions under the hypothesis that the remains unchanged. we show how the electrical resistance of a bent ﬁlm can be computed. Moreover. This result will be used in Section III-C. (12) states that the resistance of of the elastomeric ﬁlm standing on a small arc of circle measured between its extremities only depends on the resistivity of the material . the cases where the circular crown degenerates. specialized using (8) and (9) becomes (13) and (14) Relations (13) and (14). the material is electrically homogeneous and the ﬁlm can be considered as a sector having angular measure of a Corbino’s disk [16]. the curve approximated by a sequence of curves made of circular arcs. by (according to a chosen convention berecalling that tween the two possible curvature signs). In the remaining part of this section. They can be expanded by using Taylor’s formula and we obtain (18) with (19) where the curvature is chosen to be positive in the segments from and are considered with their signs. having curvatures The resistance of the ﬁlm having as its inextensible proﬁle is given (according to the curvature sign. if we consider the Taylor’s expansion truncated to the ﬁrst-order term. we obtain for (15) (and likewise. SEPTEMBER 2009 and (16) Relations (15) and (16) stress out that the resistance of a circle arc is given by the resistance of the specimen in ﬂat position increased or decreased by a quantity (according to the bending versus) depending on . As the approximation becomes more and more accurate when the (15) . Fixed . (12). by using Lemma 1. This result will be employed in Section III-C in order to conceive a improved system to detect angles. 4. Zero-order and even-order terms have the same signs while odd-order terms have opposite signs. can be better and better Now. We will not investigate. for the specimen is straight and and (case b). NO. Similar considerlimit corresponds to ations can be made also for (7). by Lemma 1. Equation (6) is deﬁned length of . indexed from to . it is possible to chose a set of circle arcs . 9. In parﬁlm ticular. the tangent vector in an extremity of an arc has to coincide with the tangent vector in the correspondent point of the next arc (see assumptions 4 and 5). This total bending. both the limits of the two functions and the ones of all their derivatives exist. for (16)) (17) which states the explicit dependence between the total curvature and the electrical resistance and can be applied for small curvature bending. VOL. which satisfy the assumption (4).1018 IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL. Cases of circular bending of a specimen when the length of one side does not change. its inextensible proﬁle . on the thickness of the evaluated in ﬂat position and on the curvature . whose circumferential resistance can be computed as (12) where and are the major and the minor radii of the circular crown. 9. 4. Moreover. Consider a ﬁlm bent according to a deformation of . in approximations in order to sum each single contribution to the total curvature. Finally. We according to the concavity or convexity of the curve remark that in (18). Since (8) and (9) provide an explicit dependence and on and . Fig. or concavities) by Fig. for the ﬁlm is ‘‘concave’’ (c) and . According to hypothesis (6). in the present work.

a third-order . where is “concave. IV.LORUSSI et al. we obtain (21) Equation (21) holds only for .AND DOUBLE-LAYER CONFIGURATION A. but it does not contain any -second-order terms. while the arc lengths become zero. In this section. ERROR ESTIMATION IN SINGLE. we want to improve this result by presenting a ﬁlm conﬁguration which cancels the second-order term of the Taylor’s series. which is given by the two values expressed by expression (8) and (9). where is “convex” and is the subset of . at least. curvature in double-layer systems is comprised in a limited set. ensuring that the errors involved in evaluating angles through electrical resistance are. this relation can be generalized to a any shape curve Fig. an explicit evaluation of the error in the two cases will be provided.” Then (20) which proves that the ﬁrst-order term of the total resistance is proportional to the total curvature as we wanted to prove. it is important to stress out that. The approximation we obtain is a ﬁrst-order Taylor’s expansion which holds for small values of the local curvature. 5). where two identical elastomeric ﬁlms are ﬁxed on the two opposite sides of a ﬂexible and inextensible substrate. number of arcs increases. function of Let us consider a double-layer system (such as the one represented in Fig. the parameter which characterizes the two elastomeric to (23) . which according to our hypothesis corresponds . their meaning is quite different in terms of involved errors. possibly going to inﬁnity. A double-layer sensing system. By assumption (4). On the other side. Let us suppose that the thickness of the substrate is negligible with respect to the thickness of the layers and consider the difference of resistances (22) Although (20) and (22) look very similar. we proved that the variation of the electrical resistance of an inextensible elastomeric piezoresistive ﬁlm undergoing bending is related to the local curvature of the inextensible side and. According to (13) and (14). 5. In the next section. Double-Layer Goniometric System In the previous section. while a single-layer system works for an unbounded (in one direction. at least) range of . With the same notation of the last section. with a certain approximation. is the subset of . C.: TEXTILE-BASED ELECTROGONIOMETERS FOR WEARABLE POSTURE AND GESTURE CAPTURE SYSTEMS 1019 layers is the actual thickness . In case of an arch circle for the substrate. to the difference between the tangent vectors to the ﬁlm in its extremities. (18) becomes Here. Error and Percentage Error in Single-Layer Conﬁguration Let us consider the difference between the resistance value of a layer covering a circle arc [(13)] and its ﬁrst terms in Taylor’s expansion obtained by subtracting the resistance value of the layer 1 from the resistance value of the layer 2.

is reached when the curvature is equal at each point. i. (where the error vanishes) is and correspond to a circle having radius equal to 5 mm. 9.3% of the measured angle value (Fig. the error corresponds to 7. and (and. the ‘‘worst’’ case. corresponds an angle B. . the 10% percentage error is assumed at about . 9. which correspond to the 50% lute error of 2500 of the resistance initial value and makes the system inap. For . and l . that means that the curve is a circle to arc.h . we ﬁxed implicitly. NO. k = 500 mm = 1 mm 1 = 10 mm by Taylor’s approximation. where . 1 mm width). the following numerical results. with [ 0 4 1] = 500 mm = 1 mm = 10 mm Fig. The right-hand side of (23) is represented in Fig. Errors decrease while increases and for . and l . ﬁxed a maximum curvature. we present. 6.1020 IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL. it is possible to prove1 that it is a growing function for and a decreasing function for .e. For while the resistance variation with respect to the ﬂat position .. VOL. Error and Percentage Error in Double-Layer Conﬁguration Moreover. Percentage error in angle evaluation for curvatures 1 . the error amounts to 85 . as an example. Moreover. by considering the derivative of with respect to . So. [Fig. 6). Resistance value computed by Corbino’s relation and resistance approximation (straight line) as a function of the angle versus curvature corresponding to 1 . The total curvature (angle) . in 0 : . 7). plicable. 7.h . which . SEPTEMBER 2009 Fig. while by computing is 1by operating the substitution . . we obtain an absolute error (in resistance) amounting to 19 and an angle percentage error of about 3%. we obtain (25) Let us indicate (24) It is possible to prove that In this case. the largest error in angle evaluation for any ﬁlm bending. 4(d)] produces an absoCurvature (Fig. Single-layer device. this result prove that. 6. In order to give an idea of the error in case of one-layer system. in order to estimate the error involved in evaluate angles by using (23) it will sufﬁce to establish a zero’s neighbor and evaluate the maximum error on its border. Single-layer device.

to e > for .

> . the maximum absolute value for the curvature is reached on its border. It is possible to prove2 that is a increasing odd function on . the assertion is equivalent to e 2As in the previous case. can be continuously extended so it is continuous and bounded. by differentiating and operating the substitution > 1 for . First. in by setting . in terms of resistance by (26) 1 0 = log(1 + 2) the assertion is equivalent log(1 + 2h k). Things remarkably improve if we consider a double-layer is deﬁned only for system. we have to compute Moreover. since . Fixed a maximum . It error on the interval can be quantiﬁed.

. > 0.

= .

. which represents a percentage angle error amounts to ( ). to a framework constituted by two rigid straight arms (Fig. 9). perturbed by an insulated stick during the resistance acquisition. 8. It is clear how the inﬁnitesimal secondorder error we commit greatly improve the system performance . 10). when ) the absolute error in terms of resistance 2 radiants ( . for absolute error in resistance is smaller than 4 and the angle percentage error is smaller than 1%. on the total curvature of the device. Double-layer device. A set of angles from 0 to 120 has been spanned by the two arms (positions have been imposed and measured by a SG150 electrogoniometer produced by Biometrics. 9. Fig. the same behavior holds for V.h . Layer resistances have been measured by a Keithley multimeter and angle estimation has been performed by using relation (22).).5 mm. Double-layer device. On the other hand.: TEXTILE-BASED ELECTROGONIOMETERS FOR WEARABLE POSTURE AND GESTURE CAPTURE SYSTEMS 1021 Fig. [ 0 4 0 4] = 500 mm = 1 mm = 10 mm The absolute error in terms of voltage. and l curvature k corresponding to for a double-layer system. The real angle is estimated by a laboratory electrogoniometer. with reasonable accuracy. Since the stick radius was 2. Finally. A double-layer device mounted on two rigid arms. : with 1 . and l . 10. the with respect to the one-layer one. Fig. Ltd. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS The double-layer sensor. The double-layer device. 11). the maximum curvature assumed by the system were . The trial has been iterated for different angles in order to provide a full characterization of the device behavior. Resistance value computed by Corbino’s relation and resistance approximation (straight line) as a function of the angle versus 1 .h for a double-layer system. In this way. = 500 mm = 1 mm 1 = 10 mm Fig. we have modiﬁed the shape of the supporting ﬁlm by using a insulating small stick which kept the device in three different conﬁguration (Fig. 11. is an odd function. the angles between the tangent vectors to the (VIPLA™) ﬁlm corresponding to the voltmetric contact points assume the same values imposed to the framework. We have ﬁxed the extremities of the sensor. the minimal even curvature possible for the device in a position (characterized by the angle ) between the two arms of the framework is given . For error is larger than 4 radiants (the measured angle is 2 radiants) and the system is strongly inaccurate. which corresponds to However. external to the voltmetric contact points. given by relation (26) is represented in ﬁgure (8). The ﬁrst one was aimed at proving that the difference of electrical resistance of the two layers during bending only depends. In order to verify that the difference on resistance does not depend on the particular shape of the sensor in its central part. Percentage error in angle evaluation for curvatures in 0 : . the of 4%. whose fabrication procedure has been brieﬂy described in Section II has undergone two different types of test.LORUSSI et al. for small curvatures and. Since in this case the error (Fig.

the following value for the test have been computed: (27) . where is the mean of the sample and ciated standard deviation. In this way. Difference of resistance (and the standard deviation on ﬁve trials) between the two layers versus the angle assumed with a light disturbance performed by the stick. VOL. TABLE III MEAN AND STANDARD DEVIATION ERRORS FOR DIFFERENT SET OF TRIALS Fig. the perturbation is larger. reported in Table III. while for . we . Groups and correspond to unperturbed and slightly perturbed status.. i. Anyway. . where represents level of perturbation of the curvature and the particular acquired value. Tests and are draw from the same ecuted to prove that samples normal population. we have only a qualitative picture and its max. data deriving from measures related to different angles are comparable and a statistic evaluation on the samples provides global information on the involved error.8 mm. while a systematic error is not neglition (groups gible in case of relevant curvatures (group . For these values of minimum curvature. where relevant curvature can be reached) we have globally considered all the data collected for each trial. is draw from a normal population having were exaverage value in the theoretical angle value. by . In order to obtain a global information on the device behavior. In order to verify if ’s are a sample of a normal population having mean zero. Fig. 13. It is possible to suppose that the largest segment the device hold the maximum curvature is the half a length of the stick external circumference. In this have computed the samples way. and depends on the particular angle measured. 12 shows the difference of resistance (and the standard deviation on ﬁve trials) between the two layers versus the angle assumed with a light disturbance performed by the stick. 7. Since the effective local curvature has not been measured during trials. NO.e.1022 IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL. . while values of the angle computed by the resistance differences on ﬁve acquisition for each considered position of the goniometer and the corresponding standard deviations. 13 simultaneously shows the resistance differences versus the imposed angle under different perturbations. the following statistics have been comis its assoputed. but it is held only for a small length of the device. 12. 9. respectively. SEPTEMBER 2009 TABLE II REAL AND MEASURED ANGLES FOR DIFFERENT SET OF TRIALS Fig. given a certain set of data . Resistance differences versus the imposed angle under different perturbation. repreResults obtained are reported in Table II. tests were aimed at proving that sample . which is expected to introduce an error of about 8 in the worst case (see Section IV). the corresponding error (8 ) imum range is never reached in any trial. while Fig. The three samples have been analyzed by ﬁve two tail Student’s tests. The maximum curvature value is not negligible. Fixed a signiﬁcativity level . 9. the average electrogoniometer. where sents the real angle imposed and measured via a commercial are. In order to verify that for small curvature no signiﬁcative error occurs during shape deformaand ). the expected error when the ﬁlms assume circle shapes is smaller than 1%. each of the three samples contains 65 (5 trials for each of the 13 angles in the table) data which represents the absolute errors in evaluating angles by the device with respect to the foreseen ones. First.

such that is small as wanted. However. Potential uses of sensors based on the proposed methodology could be in several application ﬁelds. ensures the exact reconstruction of object shapes covered by the double-layer sensing fabric. the arcs are inductively deﬁned by the following relation: in this case. i. that is Since the two tails -distribution with 64 degree-of-freedom which corresponds to a signiﬁcativity level of 0.. which constitutes norm. By considering left and right second derivative. sport science. we can accept the hypotheses that .: TEXTILE-BASED ELECTROGONIOMETERS FOR WEARABLE POSTURE AND GESTURE CAPTURE SYSTEMS 1023 p-VALUES OBTAINED FOR t-TESTS TABLE IV APPENDIX In the following. Since equal to the average curvature of in the interval the initial arcs have the same initial condition and same initial derivative The last two statistics prove that it is possible to suppose (with the same conﬁdence of the previous cases) that and are samples draw from the same population. we can include in a similar way the endestimating the distance between the two curves points and the respective ﬁrst and second derivatives.LORUSSI et al. VI. we obtain (28) . Let us deﬁne the ﬁrst arc of the approximating curve as the unique circle arc having the same initial point. The right-hand side of inequality 28 is bounded by which decreases to 0 when increases. Theory and experiments we have presented conﬁrms that a double-layer sensor as described here can act as a wearable electrogoniometer without relevant systematic errors even when the sensor is deformed in a shape having small local curvature (compared with the inverse of the sensor thickness which is of the order of millimeters). The integration of this methodology with the same technology employed as length detector. in equal subintervals Let us divide the interval . Let us now construct arcs by attaching a new arc to the previous one in a way that the direction always follows the curve at junction points. The hypothesis of unchanging length of the substrate supporting the goniometer is removable. a systematic error is present in the third group of data. since the curvature is uniformly continuous and at each arc the curvature of the circle arc is equal to the average curvature of the corresponding interval of . Barillaro for his contribution in experimental trials. the proof of Lemma 1 is reported. of the supposed distribution.67. In order to further prove results obtained. widely explored in previous works. A sensor of this kind when conformed to a certain object can allow to reconstruct the shape of the object itself. in Table IV. since we have to reject the third hypothesis. Conversely. -values related to -test are reported. . the statement is proved.1 is equal to and are samples 1. ergonomics. More precisely. We remark that the device is wearable. Finally. virtual and augmented reality. By this. where the posture and gesture analysis is fundamental. about directions. this case has not been exhaustively treated in this paper and will be subject-matter of a future work. Moreover. the same initial direction as the curve and the same ﬁnal direction at . we discussed the use of textile compatible devices for the measurement of the angle between the initial and ﬁnal pointing vectors. we have Finally. the ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors thank Dr. G. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK In this paper. This is the situation that can be expected when the sensor is used for gesture capture or other human biometric applications.e. A crucial issue in this respect consists in analyzing in depth the dynamic response of the system conﬁguration and identifying piezoresistive rubber endowed with highly elastic response to provide a large bandwidth in mechanoelectrical conversion. two other indicators have been computed We remark that in this case the curvature of the chosen arc is . Proof: (Sketch) We will see that it is possible to construct a curve being ﬁnite union of circle arcs. while have a probability smaller than 1% to be a sample draw from the same normal distribution. has very low weight and production cost. providing concavity and convexity also. as rehabilitation. then it holds as on each interval.

3. no. Symp. A. “Advanced wearable health systems and applications. Della Santa. Italy. Wearable Comput. NO. NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. Technol. pp. D. D. vol.” in Proc. [12] A. Inst. SEPTEMBER 2009 REFERENCES [1] C. Koekkoek. Kleinman and A. [16] D. Brazil. He is author of about 20 papers. and D. T. F. V. pp. R. p. pp. Biol. Rocchia. 29. Paradiso. T. Kramer. Tognetti. U. Federico Lorussi graduated with a degree in mathematics and the Ph. [13] Wacker. A.S. George. 9. vol. and chapters in international books. and R.com/internet/noc/ Products/ [14] [Online]. no.biometricsltd. “Performance evaluation of sensing fabrics for monitoring physiological and biomechanical variables. P. no.. 31. and D. F. Lindener. [11] A. E.” IEEE Eng. respectively.. Amsterdam. From 1976 to 1981. [6] A. 31–37. NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 9. Mag. “Multi-sensor context-aware clothing. pp. Caritu. “Strain sensing goniometers.” IEEE Sensors J.R. 1999. and H. Wijesiriwardana.” in Proc.. 1960. University of Pisa. 2007. 2.. systems and recognition algorithms. 2005. pp. 2. Stefano Galatolo received the Ph. Schawlow. Gibbs and H. Bouten. P. vol.wacker. “Corbino disk.. 807–818. 8. no.” U.. 2176. W. and D. W.” IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. Med. mainly in pure and applied mathematics.” IEEE Trans.com/contact. vol. De Rossi. A. K. [8] E. Van Laerhoven. Pisa. N. L. vol. VOL. he was a Researcher at the Institute of Clinical Physiology.” J. Asada.1024 IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL. R.. 2003. [7] F. 44. A. [4] . [2] D. Since 1982. Pisa. . [5] A. and Japan. His scientiﬁc activities are related to the physics of organic and polymeric materials. “Wearable redundant fabric-based sensors arrays for reconstruction of body segment posture. pp.. Schmidt. Lorussi. De Rossi. 8. Currently. 2004. Mazzoldi. A. Grenoble. 7. The Netherlands: IOS Press..” Trans. 3. Gellersen. 4. A. Genova. 49–56. Tognetti. Dias. Patent N. David. R. W. Measure. De Rossi. 3-4. He worked in France. he has been working at the School of Engineering. “Resistive ﬁbermeshed transducer. and D. and D.” Mater. [3] K. 2000.D. Biomed. and Y. 2003. Symp. Lorussi. where he is currently a Full Professor of Bioengineering. Verduin. “Dressware: Wearable hardware. Phys. Scilingo. degree from the University of Pisa. T. and to the design of sensors and actuators for bioengineering and robotics. Symp. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Pisa. 6035274. Sci. Available: http://www. B. 2004. Bartalesi.N. He is author of over 150 technical and scientiﬁc publications. Ghelarducci.” J. Mukhopadhyay. Tognetti. 2005. Available: http://www. 2002.. 9. Janssen. C-Biomimetic and Supramolecular Syst. De Rossi graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Genova. Lorussi.D. [Online]. Dittmar. in 1999 and 2003. 2005. degree in robotics and bioengineering from the University of Pisa. Inf. he is a Postdoctoral at the Information Engineering Department.. France. Wearable E-Health Systems for Personalized Health Management – State of the Art and Future Challenge. H. De Rossi. pp. vol. His scientiﬁc activities are related to anthropomorphic robotics and biomechanics. [10] P. Contr. Appl. 6th Int. C. De Rossi. University of Pisa. Eng. Scilingo. “Body segment position reconstruction and posture classiﬁcation by smart textiles. F. in 1976. “A triaxial accelerometer and portable data processing unit for the assessment of daily physical activity. 2007. vol. 26. 7th IEEE Int. Italy. Lymberis and A. Wearable Comput. Lymberis and D. Danilo E. 345–352.” in Proc. Italy. His main research ﬁeld concerns the statistical and algorithmic aspects of dynamical systems. contributions to international conferences.” J. De Rossi. 200–209. In Smart Objects Conf. vol.htm [15] J. and P. [9] R.. Taccini. K. “Wearable conductive ﬁber sensors for multi-axis human joint angle measurement. vol.S. no. 1997. 136–147. and S. pp. Fontaine. Eds. “Wearable kinaesthetic system for capturing and classifying upper limb gesture in post-stroke rehabilitation. “Sourceless human body motion capture. Gemignani. 29–33. M. He is author of several papers. 215–253.

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