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Both GPS and inertial measurement units (IMUs) have been extensively used in biomechanical studies. Expensive high accuracy GPS units can provide information about intrastride speed and position, but their application is limited by their size and cost. Single and double integration of acceleration from IMU provides information about short-term fluctuations in speed and position, but suffers from integration error over a longer period of time. The integration of GPS and IMU has been widely used in large and expensive units designed for survey and vehicle navigation. Here we propose a data fusion scheme, which is a Kalman filter based complementary filter and enhances the frequency response of the GPS and IMU used alone. We also report the design of a small (28 g) low cost GPS/IMU unit. Its accuracy after post-processing with the proposed data fusion scheme for determining average speed and intrastride variation was compared to a traditional high cost survey GPS. The low cost unit achieved an accuracy of 0.15 ms(-1) (s.d.) for horizontal speed in cycling and human running across a speed range of 3-10 ms(-1). The stride frequency and vertical displacement calculated based on measurements from the low cost GPS/IMU units had an s.d. of 0.08 Hz and 0.02 m respectively, compared to measurements from high performance OEM4 GPS units.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biomech

Publication Date





1398 - 1406


Biomechanical Phenomena, Motion, Radio Waves