An Electromagnetic Cervical Range-of-Motion System and its Sensitivity to Environmental Metal

Michael J. Schendel, Robert Patterson, Jack Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional cervical spine range-of-motion system was developed using an electromagnetic tracking system for data collection and a personal computer for analysis and graphic representation of the data. A test was designed to investigate the sensitivity of the electromagnetic device to the proximity of metal. It was found that position errors could be kept below 0.5 cm, and rotation errors could be kept below 1.3°, if all metal was at least 33 cm from the source and sensor. The sensitivity of the system to metal should not cause serious problems in the typical clinical environment if simple precautions are taken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 31 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
head or other parts of the upper extremities or thorax will distort the data. The use of a wooden chair is required if the subject is to be seated. Keeping the system at least 33cm (13inches) offthe floor will minimize errors due to steel-reinforcing bars, which are common in concrete floors. Higher position and rotation accuracy can be obtained by keeping metal objects further away from the source and sensor, but this is probably not required for the accuracy needed for most clinical testing. Acknowledgment: This work was supported in part by Rehabilitation Engineering Center grant G008300075 from NIDRRin the Department ofEdu cation.


  • Accuracy
  • Computerized range of motion
  • Neck range of motion
  • Quantification of human performance


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