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Analysis of the Accuracy of Ten Algorithms for Orientation Estimation Using Inertial and Magnetic Sensing under Optimal Conditions: One Size Does Not Fit All

Caruso, Marco; Sabatini, Angelo Maria; Laidig, Daniel; Seel, Thomas; Knaflitz, Marco; Della Croce, Ugo; Cereatti, Andrea

The orientation of a magneto and inertial measurement unit (MIMU) is estimated by means of sensor fusion algorithms (SFAs) thus enabling human motion tracking. However, despite several SFAs implementations proposed over the last decades, there is still a lack of consensus about the best performing SFAs and their accuracy. As suggested by recent literature, the filter parameters play a central role in determining the orientation errors. The aim of this work is to analyze the accuracy of ten SFAs while running under the best possible conditions (i.e., their parameter values are set using the orientation reference) in nine experimental scenarios including three rotation rates and three commercial products. The main finding is that parameter values must be specific for each SFA according to the experimental scenario to avoid errors comparable to those obtained when the default parameter values are used. Overall, when optimally tuned, no statistically significant differences are observed among the different SFAs in all tested experimental scenarios and the absolute errors are included between 3.8 deg and 7.1 deg. Increasing the rotation rate generally leads to a significant performance worsening. Errors are also influenced by the MIMU commercial model. SFA MATLAB implementations have been made available online.
Published in: Sensors, 10.3390/s21072543, MDPI