Finite helical axes (FHAs) are a potentially effective tool for joint kinematic analysis. Unfortunately, no straightforward guidelines exist for calculating accurate FHAs using prepackaged six degree-of-freedom (6DOF) rigid body trackers. Thus, this study aimed to: (1) describe a protocol for calculating FHA parameters from 6DOF rigid body trackers using the screw matrix and (2) to maximize the number of accurate FHAs generated from a given data set using a moving window analysis. Four Optotrak® Smart Markers were used as the rigid body trackers, two moving and two fixed, at different distances from the hinge joint of a custom-machined jig. 6DOF pose information was generated from 51 static positions of the jig rotated and fixed in 0.5 deg increments up to 25 deg. Output metrics included the FHA direction cosines, the rotation about the FHA, the translation along the axis, and the intercept of the FHA with the plane normal to the jig's hinge joint. FHA metrics were calculated using the relative tracker rotation from the starting position, and using a moving window analysis to define a minimum acceptable rotational displacement between the moving tracker data points. Data analysis found all FHA rotations calculated from the starting position were within 0.15 deg of the prescribed jig rotation. FHA intercepts were most stable when determined using trackers closest to the hinge axis. Increasing the moving window size improved the FHA direction cosines and center of rotation accuracy. Window sizes larger than 2 deg had an intercept deviation of less than 1 mm. Furthermore, compared to the 0 deg window size, the 2 deg window had a 90% improvement in FHA intercept precision while generating almost an equivalent number of FHA axes. This work identified a solution to improve FHA calculations for biomechanical researchers looking to describe changes in 3D joint motion.
A Refined Technique to Calculate Finite Helical Axes From Rigid Body Trackers
Manuscript received April 21, 2014; final manuscript received August 8, 2014; accepted manuscript posted August 27, 2014; published online November 5, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Guy M. Genin.
McLachlin, S. D., Ferreira, L. M., and Dunning, C. E. (December 1, 2014). "A Refined Technique to Calculate Finite Helical Axes From Rigid Body Trackers." ASME. J Biomech Eng. December 2014; 136(12): 124506. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4028413
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