A procedure for determining rigid body transformation parameters

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For many biomechanical applications it is necessary to determine the parameters which describe the transformation of a rigid body from one reference frame to another. These parameters are a scaling factor, an attitude matrix, and a translation vector. The paper presents a new procedure for the determination of these parameters incorporating the work of Arun et al. [IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Machine Intell, 9, 698-700 (1987)] but expanding their analysis to allow for the determination of a scale factor, the scalar weighting of the least-squares problem, and the problem of obtaining the incorrect determinant when determining the attitude matrix. The procedure, which requires the coordinates of three or more noncollinear points, is based around the singular value decomposition, and provides a least-squares estimate of the rigid body transformation parameters. Examples are presented of the use of this procedure for determining the attitude of a rigid body, and for osteometric scaling. When used for osteometric scaling mirror transformations are possible, therefore a right-hand specimen can be scaled to the left-hand side of another specimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-737
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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