# Accurate tracking of position at walking speed using an accelerometer

• VokinLoksar
In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of using only accelerometers to track a person's position on a map without any external references. The suggested method is to use software that reads current forces reported by an accelerometer and determine the person's speed and position based on the changes in acceleration. The main difficulty is the potential for drift over time without regular GPS fixes. Some suggested devices for this purpose are provided.
VokinLoksar
Greetings,

Very simple question for you guys. Suppose I wanted to track my location accurately with no real reference points. And what I mean by that is if take some arbitrary location I'm currently at to be point 0,0 on a 2-dimensional map, is it possible to use only accelerometers to track my position as I walk away from that point? So think along the lines of the GPS system, by with no external references.

It seems to me that in theory this should be possible... I could write software that would read current forces reported by an accelerometer. I initialize it at position 0,0 when it is stationary, and then use the positive forces when accelerating and negative when slowing down to determine what my current speed, and therefore, position is. And this does need to work in 2 dimensions. I can't, however, work out exactly what sort of sensitivity would be needed to make this process accurate.

What do you guys think? Is it possible/practical to do, and if so, what resolution would be required of the accelerometer that I use? Even better, if you have experience doing something similar, can you recommend some devices that I should look at for this.

Thanks!

Yes it is possible. Your car's GPS already does this to maintian a position between GPS fixes especially when driving in cities where tall buildings block reception the main difficulty is drift with time if you don't get a regular fix.

Try these http://www.analog.com/en/subCat/0,2879,764%255F800%255F0%255F%255F0%255F,00.html

Last edited by a moderator:

Dear researcher,

Thank you for your interest in tracking position using an accelerometer. It is indeed possible to track position at walking speed using an accelerometer, as accelerometers can measure the acceleration and deceleration of an object in motion. However, there are certain limitations and considerations to keep in mind when using an accelerometer for this purpose.

Firstly, the accuracy of the tracking will depend on the sensitivity and resolution of the accelerometer. The higher the sensitivity and resolution, the more accurate the tracking will be. Therefore, it is important to carefully choose an accelerometer with appropriate sensitivity and resolution for your specific needs.

Additionally, the accuracy of the tracking will also depend on the calibration of the accelerometer. It is important to calibrate the accelerometer before each use to ensure accurate measurements. This can be done by placing the accelerometer on a flat and stable surface and recording the values it reads when not in motion. This will serve as a baseline for future measurements.

Another consideration is the placement of the accelerometer on the person. It should be securely attached to the body in order to accurately measure the movements and accelerations while walking. The orientation of the accelerometer should also be taken into account, as it can affect the accuracy of the measurements.

In terms of practicality, using an accelerometer for tracking position can be a cost-effective and convenient option compared to other methods such as GPS. However, it may not be as accurate as GPS and may require some fine-tuning to achieve the desired level of accuracy.

There are various accelerometers available in the market that can be suitable for this purpose. Some factors to consider when choosing an accelerometer include sensitivity, resolution, size, and power consumption. It may be helpful to consult with an expert or conduct some research to determine the best option for your specific needs.

I hope this information helps in your research. Best of luck in your endeavors.

A fellow scientist

## 1. How does an accelerometer accurately track position at walking speed?

An accelerometer measures changes in acceleration, which can be used to determine changes in position. When walking, the body experiences small accelerations as the legs move forward and backward, and the accelerometer can detect these changes and calculate the distance traveled.

## 2. What factors can affect the accuracy of position tracking with an accelerometer?

Some factors that can affect the accuracy of position tracking with an accelerometer include the sensitivity and precision of the sensor, the sampling rate, and the placement of the sensor on the body. Additionally, external forces such as wind or uneven terrain can also impact the accuracy of tracking.

## 3. Can an accelerometer track position at different walking speeds?

Yes, an accelerometer can track position at different walking speeds. This is because the sensor measures changes in acceleration, which are affected by the speed of movement. However, the accuracy of the tracking may vary depending on the walking speed and other factors.

## 4. Are there any limitations to using an accelerometer for position tracking at walking speed?

While accelerometers can be effective for tracking position at walking speed, they do have some limitations. For example, they may struggle to accurately track movement in complex or crowded environments, and they may not be as precise as other tracking methods such as GPS.

## 5. How can the data from an accelerometer be used for other applications besides position tracking?

Accelerometers have a wide range of applications beyond just tracking position at walking speed. They are commonly used in fitness tracking devices, sports equipment, and medical devices to measure movement, monitor activity levels, and detect changes in posture or gait. They can also be used in industrial and automotive settings to measure vibrations and detect impacts.

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