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Efficient Movement Detection for Human Actions Using Triaxial Accelerometer
Hsu-Yang Kung*, Chin-Yu Ou, Shin-Di Li, Chun-Hao Lin, Hong-Jie Chen, Yu-Lun Hsu, Miao-Han Chang, Che-I Wu
Department of Management Information Systems,
National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT implemented by not only constraining resources but also

Real-time sampling with high speed using a triaxial spreading the accelerometer without fixed spreading method.
accelerometer is the fundamental purpose of using This work proposes an implementation of a fall-down
detection system, called FDUP, in which a single
consumer devices over all-gesture operation. A well-
accelerometer is influenced by gravity, and implemented on
designed fall-down detection system uses a triaxial
intelligent device (HTC Diamond and Openmoko) and
accelerometer influenced on gravitation to calculate an wireless sensor platform (iMote2, Tmote Sky, and
included angle between surfaces and axis of accelerometer Crossbow IRIS with MDA300). The FDUP system provides
and the accelerometer is spread on fixed position and pose a fall-down detection algorithm for implementing on an
of body. A triaxial accelerometer is difficult to employ to intelligent device or a wireless sensor device. The algorithm
detect fall-down without postural orientation under an enables a device embedded with an accelerometer to spread
undetermined body position. This work presents a novel on an unfixed position and body posture. Feasibility of the
fall detection system based on unrestricted position, called proposed algorithm was demonstrated by inviting five
Fall-Down Detection based on Unrestricted Position volunteers to simulate falling down over 400 times to gather
(FDUP), to provide an unrestricted measure for solving the statistics, and to construct the fall acceleration threshold.
undetermined position problem. The FDUP system SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE OF FDUP
provides an algorithm for unrestricted fall detection, which
includes thresholds for acceleration and angle variation. This work develops and implements the Fall
Five volunteers were invited to simulate fall-down over 400 Detection System based on Unrestricted Position (FDUP),
times to collect statistics, and to build the fall-down which provides an effective fall-down detection algorithm
acceleration threshold. Analytical results show the for unrestricted position and posture, and presentation
feasibility of implementing a fall-down detection tailored to the intelligent device (HTC Diamond and
mechanism based on undetermined position. Openmoko) and Wireless Sensor (iMote2 ITS400, which is
Keywords: Sensors, Action-Aware, Triaxial an embedded accelerometer, and Crossbow MDA300 and
Accelerometer. MoteIV Tmote Sky, which are extended accelerometers of
Kionix KXP).
INTRODUCTION Figure 1 shows the fall-down detection algorithm of
Progress in the application of triaxial accelerometer has FDUP, based on a detection and timing mechanism.
provided the foundation for system development. For
instance, recognizing a game player’s gesture replaces
traditional pointing devices [3], recording of daily physical
activity [1, 2] and human movement classifiers [4]. Many
systems [1, 2] adopt multiple accelerometer units placed at
various bodily sites to help detect of activities, such as lying,
standing straight, standing prone, sitting supine, sitting
straight and sitting prone. The complexity of the algorithmic
technique applied to perform pose classification also
exhibits diversity, with researchers having studied fixed
threshold method, pattern recognition strategies,
conventional or fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks
[4]. Previous works into ambulatory monitoring of human
motion have involved the processing and analysis of raw
accelerometer signals after transmitting to a local computer
[1, 2]. Accordingly, the previous complexity algorithms are
strictly constrained by the limited memory and processing
resources available in low-power microcontrollers [4]. New
intelligent device and wireless sensor platforms, such as
HTC Diamond, Openmoko, ITS400 platform of Crossbow
iMote2 and MoteIV Tmote Sky, provide triaxial
Fig. 1 Fall-down detection algorithm of FDUP system.
acceleration readings. These platforms provide gesture
The accelerometer samples continuously at 25Hz to
recognition, auto-rotated screens and programmer
developed applications. A generic fall detection algorithm is record all bodily activities. The acceleration threshold is
determined as in formula (1):

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v v v v 46kg and 75kg. To avoid measurement error, each subject
v v v
A= X 2 +Y 2 + Z2 (1)
finished the testing of every device pose, and fell down in an
where X , Y and Z represent the accelerometer readings, unspecified manner. To demonstrate that the proposed
which were converted from the raw sensor reading to algorithm can be implemented on environment of resource
gravity g. If a user falls downv while wearing the constraint, it was deployed on an intelligent device and
accelerometer, then the reading of A describes the normal wireless sensor platform, shown as in Table 2.
curve, illustrated as Fig. 2. Table 2 Platforms of the implemented algorithm.
Platform Description
(1)HTC Diamond, (2)Openmoko
(1)Crossbow IRIS(with MDA300 and Kionix
Wireless Sensor
(2)MoteIV Tmote Sky(with Kionix KXPA4)
(3)iMote2 IPR2400(with ITS400)
Fig. 2 Fall-down activities The fall acceleration threshold was found to be between
The unusual and usual readings can be distinguished 3.62g and 3.55g at confidence interval of 95%, as revealed
to identify fall-down. To detect whether the body can stand as table 3.
up (indicating slight fall-down), the change of direction of Table 3 The acceleration threshold of fall for statistics.
gravity has to be observed. The direction is described in Straight Straight Transverse Transverse
Device Pose Total
Front Back Front Back
formula (2), and the included angle between accelerometer
and surface is depicted in Fig. 3: No. samples 100 100 100 100 400
v vr
X , Y , Z (2) Average (g) 3.53 3.65 3.58 3.58 3.59
α = cos −1
v β = cos −1
v γ = cos −1
Variance (g) 0.16 0.19 0.15 0.15 0.16
Standard deviation
0.40 0.43 0.39 0.38 0.40
Confidence interval
0.08 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.04
of 95% (g)
Up limit (g) 3.61 3.73 3.66 3.66 3.62

Low limit (g) 3.45 3.56 3.50 3.51 3.55

Fig. 3 An included angle between accelerometer (axes X′, This work designed the Fall-Down Detection System based
Y′ and Z′) and surface (axes X, Y and Z). on Unrestricted Position (FDUP), which provides an
where α, β, γ denote the direction of gravity for observing effective fall-down detection algorithm scheme for
the movement of body. unrestricted position and pose. In the algorithm of FDUP
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION system, five volunteers were invited to simulate fall-down
Accuracy of the fall-down detection mechanism was over 400 times to gather statistics and to build the fall
demonstrated as follows. Table 1 lists the case of testing acceleration threshold. Analytical results demonstrate the
involving four positions, namely the straight-front, straight- feasibility of implementing a fall-down detection based on
back, transverse-front, and transverse-back. an undetermined position.
Table 1 Device of accelerometer position Acknowledgments
Device Pose Description The authors would like to thank the National Science
The subject is initially standing, and falls onto the
Council of the Republic of China, Taiwan for financially
Straight supporting this research under Contract No. NSC 98-2220-
mattress in an unspecified manner. The embedded
accelerometer is straight-pocketed on the front side. E-020 -001 and NSC 98-2220-E-020 -002 .
The subject is initially standing, and falls onto the References
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