We present the design of an all-accelerometer inertial measurement unit (IMU). The IMU forms part of an intelligent hand-held microsurgical instrument that senses its own motion, distinguishes between hand tremor and intended motion, and compensates in real-time the erroneous motion. The new IMU design consists of three miniature dual-axis accelerometers, two of which are housed in a sensor suite at the distal end of the instrument handle, and one located at the proximal end close to the instrument tip. By taking the difference between the accelerometer readings, we decouple the inertial and gravitational accelerations from the rotation-induced (centripetal and tangential) accelerations, hence simplifies the kinematic computation of angular motions. We have shown that the error variance of the Euler orientation parameters θx, θy and θz is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the three sensor locations. Comparing with a conventional three gyros and three accelerometers IMU, the proposed design reduces the standard deviation of the estimates of translational displacements by 29.3% in each principal axis and those of the Euler orientation parameters θx, θy and θz by 99.1%, 99.1% and 92.8% respectively.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/pradeep_khosla/115/