Journal article Open Access
Brenda Elizabeth Olivas-Padilla; Sotiris Manitsaris; Dimitrios Menychtas; Alina Glushkova
In industry, ergonomists apply heuristic methods to determine workers’ exposure to ergonomic risks; however, current methods are limited to evaluating postures or measuring the duration and frequency of professional tasks. The work described here aims to deepen ergonomic analysis by using joint angles computed from inertial sensors to model the dynamics of professional movements and the collaboration between joints. This work is based on the hypothesis that with these models, it is possible to forecast workers’ posture and identify the joints contributing to the motion, which can later be used for ergonomic risk prevention. The modeling was based on the Gesture Operational Model, which uses autoregressive models to learn the dynamics of the joints by assuming associations between them. Euler angles were used for training to avoid forecasting errors such as bone stretching and invalid skeleton configurations, which commonly occur with models trained with joint positions. The statistical significance of the assumptions of each model was computed to determine the joints most involved in the movements. The forecasting performance of the models was evaluated, and the selection of joints was validated, by achieving a high gesture recognition performance. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the response of the system to disturbances and their effect on the posture.