A NOVEL APPROACH TO ANALYZING RAPID TETRAPOD LOCOMOTION USING INERTIAL MEASUREMENT UNITS
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Rapid quadrupedal movement on granular media and other irregular terrain is an interesting area of research which is under-explored. Current methods of studying rapid quadrupedal movement involve the measurement of ground reaction forces (GRF) using a force plate and a simultaneous kinematics analysis by a High Frame Rate video (HFR). Although force plates provides highly accurate kinetic data, it is not always practical to deploy in the study of animal locomotion. For instance, it is often not possible to embed force plates in irregular terrains  characteristic of most ecologically relevant animals’ natural habitats . An alternative method is to utilize an inertial measurement unit (IMU) equipped with a tri-axial accelerometer to analyze accelerations associated with different quadruped gaits. In this study, a tri-axial accelerometer is used to analyze sprinting locomotion dynamics of a greyhound in a simulated racing condition. Kinematics data from videography of the entire race was recorded in each trial for data calibration. In addition, the paw prints of the greyhound on a sandy-loam surface of a race track are also analyzed to sync acceleration data with each individual paw print.
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