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This project seeks to validate the use of a statically equivalent serial chain (SESC) in locating and tracking a human’s center of mass (CoM). The statically equivalent serial chain used in this project is comprised of 13 parameters, each roughly corresponding to a portion of the human body. Given these 13 parameters, the SESC points directly at a person’s CoM. Every individual has a unique set parameters to calculate their SESC. These parameters are determined by capturing poses and using the body segment length and position information, as well as the center of pressure reading, acquired from the different poses. A Wii Balance Board and Xbox Kinect were used in this study as inexpensive force plate and motion capture systems. There are other methods for calculating a person’s center of mass, but these require expensive equipment and more complex computational processes. The method proposed here is a low cost, fast, and easy way to accurately predict a person’s CoM. In order to determine the feasibility of the SESC model, we constructed a PVC and steel human model. This way, the weights for each part of the body could be known to validate the accuracy and repeatability of the program. A minimum number of poses required to achieve an accurate CoM prediction was determined by figuring out where human model’s parameters converged, which increases time efficiency of the process. Thus, validating the SESC method as a fast, easy, and fairly accurate solution for predicting a human’s CoM.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Andrew P Murray, Dave Harry Myszka

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Ian R Melnyk, Alex James Seither

Tracking the Center of Mass of a Human Using a Statically Equivalent Serial Chain