Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

A Human Body Posture Sensor for Monitoring and Diagnosing MSD Risk Factors

A. Alwasel, K. Elrayes, E. Abdel-Rahman, C. Haas
Pages 531-539 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) threaten the wellbeing and livelihood of a large number of construction workers incurring a significant cost to society. We present a new method to monitor and diagnose MSD risks in the workplace. The sensing unit of the system is an optical encoder encompassed within a non-intrusive exoskeleton to measure the joint angle of interest. This sensor can be applied to ball-and-socket and hinge-type joints of the human body, such as the shoulder, elbow, and knee joints. The system is contactless and does not require markers or cameras. Angle measurements are acquired directly without mathematical post-processing, thereby avoiding numerical noise and drift challenges. The system is a simple, robust, and deployable, but it currently lacks resolution of parallel degrees of freedom.

Keywords: Motion tracking, Human joints, Angle measurement, MSD, Robotics, Gerontology