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Master theses

Current and past ideas and concepts for Master Theses.

Processing of Inertial Measurement Unit data for game based rehabilitation


The paradigm of game based rehabilitation is exploiting the fact that computer games are a motivating tool for many patients when they need to perform repetitive exercises over a long period of time in physical rehabilitation, for instance after a serious injury, due to acquired brain injury or even in a lifelong therapy context for various conditions.

As console or pc based computer games can nowadays be controlled by means of cameras (e.g. Kinect), pressure sensors (e.g. Balance Board) or hand-held controllers (wii Remote), all these motion based games become also available as tools in physical rehabilitation. However, many commercial games are not suitable for a rehabilitation context (e.g. too difficult, too fast, …) and many sensors have serious limitations for accurately measuring body movement (e.g. Kinect captures the full body while being relatively inaccurate, IMU is rather accurate but only captures the movement of a specific joint).

Kind of work

The objective of this master thesis is to explore the signal processing methods needed to process and combine the information captured from multiple accelerometers and gyroscopes (dubbed Inertial Measurement Units) such that the information can be used for controlling the movement of characters in computer games.

The developments will be performed as an extension to existing software developed within the ETRO research group to build and control computer games for physical rehabilitation. The algorithms may be developed and tested in Matlab or Python, but will eventually be implemented in C++ or C#.
The algorithms implemented in this thesis are mainly based on three important papers:
J. Favre, F. Luthi, B. M. Jolles, O. Siegrist, B. Najafi ,K. Aminian, ”A new ambulatory system for comparative evaluation of the three-dimensional knee kinematics, applied to anterior cruciate ligament injuries”, Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc, Volume 14, Pages 592–604, 2006.
J. Favre, B.M. Jolles, R. Aissaoui, K. Aminian, ”Ambulatory measurement of 3D knee joint angle, Journal of Biomechanics”, Volume 41, Issue 5, 2008, Pages 1029-1035.

J. Favre, R. Aissaoui, B.M. Jolles, J.A. deGuise, K. Aminian, ”Functional calibration procedure for 3D knee joint angle description using inertial sensors”, Journal of Biomechanics, Volume 42, Pages 2330–2335, 2009.

The thesis work itself mainly consists of the following phases:
• Literature study.
• Implementation of filtering methods for smoothing of the captured signals.
• Calibration methods to compensate for the inaccurate placement of the sensors on the body.
• Testing of the developed methods with patients and therapists.

Framework of the Thesis

Software will be written in Python or C++

VUB-ETRO (Pleinlaan 9, 1050 Brussels), Skype meetings can be held to limit displacements.
Occasional visits to hospitals, therapists and patients might be scheduled.

Number of Students



Prof. Dr. Bart Jansen

+32 (0)2 629 1034

more info


Dr. Taha Jerbi

+32 (0)2 629 2930

more info

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