Development of a low-cost wearable prevention system for musculoskeletal disorders using inertial measurement unit systems
Resumen: The increasing relevance of occupational injuries and illness related to lean manufacturing strategies in automotive assembly lines brings an increasing interest in this industry by the research and development of new tools and methods for the evaluation and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). However, few studies have focused on assessing the exposures to the hand region whereas disorder in this region remain at the primary tier of the prevalence ranking. Herein, this paper presents a low-cost, wearable inertial measurement unit (IMU) to measure workplace demands. This technology was selected after analysing an assessment scale composed of seven of the common ergonomic assessment tools and methods. After a brief verification through a laboratory goniometry experiment, eleven joint angles of a volunteer¿s hand were measured. The results indicated that the mean difference between the values measured by participants and the values obtained directly from the wearable is 2.44°, which has the same accuracy level of the commercial products. The proposed device is scalable enough to be iterated by further improvements, including conductive fabric 3D printing technology.