This time round, I spent seven months in Granada, where I took part in the joint research project “Human Body Motion Analysis of Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases by Means of Inertial Sensors” between the University of Granada and the Department of Neurology of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The project aimed at replacing camera-based motion capture systems and force measuring platforms by wearable inertial and magnetic field sensors. In contrast to the camera-based systems, these sensors are cheap and portable but need complex signal processing in order to deliver a satisfactory degree of accuracy.
During my stay, I wrote my thesis, entitled Kalman Filtering Applied to Pitch Angle Estimation from Inertial Data of the Lower Extremities. It describes the implementation of a new Kalman filter based orientation algorithm that improves the estimation of the orientation angles of the lower extremities by means of inertial sensors.
" A Kalman filter is not a physical tool but a mathematical one. Mathematical tools make mental work more efficient, just as mechanical tools make physical work more efficient. "
When not working on my project, I went snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada, which is the sunniest ski resort in Europe. I spent such a sweet time there in Spain, whilst making great progress professionally as well as personally. On the weekends, I hit the local tapas bars or Hannigan's Irish Pub, which was the place to be, not only to meet locals but also to connect with people from all corners of the globe.
In a subsequent speech at the graduation ceremony of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the Münster University of Applied Sciences, I talked about the beauty of studying and working abroad and how my stay in Granada in particular enriched my life as a student. There I have learnt that with half the stress you can still get 80% of the work done, which makes work more pleasant and thus ultimately increases productivity.