Image-based fall detection and classification of a user with a walking support system

Sajjad Taghvaei, Kazuhiro Kosuge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The classification of visual human action is important in the development of systems that interact with humans. This study investigates an image-based classification of the human state while using a walking support system to improve the safety and dependability of these systems.We categorize the possible human behavior while utilizing a walker robot into eight states (i.e., sitting, standing, walking, and five falling types), and propose two different methods, namely, normal distribution and hidden Markov models (HMMs), to detect and recognize these states. The visual feature for the state classification is the centroid position of the upper body, which is extracted from the user’s depth images. The first method shows that the centroid position follows a normal distribution while walking, which can be adopted to detect any non-walking state. The second method implements HMMs to detect and recognize these states. We then measure and compare the performance of both methods. The classification results are employed to control the motion of a passive-type walker (called “RT Walker”) by activating its brakes in non-walking states. Thus, the system can be used for sit/stand support and fall prevention. The experiments are performed with four subjects, including an experienced physiotherapist. Results show that the algorithm can be adapted to the new user’s motion pattern within 40 s, with a fall detection rate of 96.25% and state classification rate of 81.0%. The proposed method can be implemented to other abnormality detection/classification applications that employ depth image-sensing devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-441
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers of Mechanical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 1


  • fall detection
  • hidden Markov model
  • multivariate analysis
  • walking support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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