A least-squares approach to computing inverse dynamics is proposed. The method utilizes equations of motion for a multi-segment body, incorporating terms for ground reaction forces and torques. The resulting system is overdetermined at each point in time, because kinematic and force measurements outnumber unknown torques, and may be solved using weighted least squares to yield estimates of the joint torques and joint angular accelerations that best match measured data. An error analysis makes it possible to predict error magnitudes for both conventional and least-squares methods. A modification of the method also makes it possible to reject constant biases such as those arising from misalignment of force plate and kinematic measurement reference frames. A benchmark case is presented, which demonstrates reductions in joint torque errors on the order of 30 percent compared to the conventional Newton–Euler method, for a wide range of noise levels on measured data. The advantages over the Newton–Euler method include making best use of all available measurements, ability to function when less than a full complement of ground reaction forces is measured, suppression of residual torques acting on the top-most body segment, and the rejection of constant biases in data.

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