Head impact kinematics and location measurement utilizing multiple inertial sensors

Date created: 
Head impacts
Impact kinematics
Impact location estimation
Wearable headgear
Helmet crash testing

Impacts that cause high accelerations of the head are a major cause of mTBIs (mild traumatic brain injuries) or concussions. Repetitive head impacts can also potentially cause long term damage to the brain and cognitive abilities. Recently, due to increasing public awareness, wearable technologies and devices targeted towards measuring head impact kinematics during sport are gaining popularity. However, existing devices come with limitations that prevent on-the-field usage in one way or another. In this work, we devised methods to address the problem of accurately measuring impact kinematics and impact location, while also addressing the limitations of existing devices. We developed novel calibration and impact measurement algorithms that allowed us to design a complete impact measurement device; while also reducing the number of sensors and scale. We also proposed a wearable device prototype that can eventually be developed into a low-cost finished product for on-the-field impact measurement. We tested the accuracy of the device and algorithms by comparing the impact linear and rotational acceleration, rotational velocity, and impact location estimate with an industrial-grade IMU and a Hybrid-III dummy Head. Results showed that the device has great potential for relatively low-cost sports applications and can help in establishing a link between impacts and resulting brain injuries in the future.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Farid Golnaraghi
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.