Joint moment estimation by a camera-based motion measurement system and a force plate has a limitation of measurement environment and is costly. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate quantitatively inertial sensor-based joint moment estimation methods with five-link, four-link and three-link rigid body models using different trunk segmented models. Joint moments, ground reaction forces (GRF) and center of pressure (CoP) were estimated for squat and sit-to-stand movements in the sagittal plane measured with six healthy subjects. The five-link model and the four-link model that the trunk was divided at the highest point of the iliac crest (four-link-IC model) were appropriate for joint moment estimation with inertial sensors, which showed average RMS values of about 0.1 Nm/kg for all lower limb joints and average correlation coefficients of about 0.98 for hip and knee joints and about 0.80 for ankle joint. Average root mean square (RMS) errors of horizontal and vertical GRFs and CoP were about 10 N, 15 N and 2 cm, respectively. Inertial sensor-based method was suggested to be an option for estimating joint moments of the trunk segments. Inertial sensors were also shown to be useful for the bottom-up estimation method using measured GRFs, in which average RMS values and average correlation coefficients were about 0.06 Nm/kg and larger than about 0.98 for all joints.
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