Noncontact Human Body Voltage Measurement Using Microsoft Kinect and Field Mill for ESD Applications

Shaohui Yong, Ahmad Hosseinbeig, Suyu Yang, Michael B. Heaney, David Pommerenke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A technique for measuring the voltage on a person by combining an overhead mounted electrostatic field sensor with Microsoft Kinect image recognition software and hardware is presented in this paper. The Kinect's built-in skeleton detection method was used to determine the posture, height, and location of a person relative to the position of the field sensor. The voltage is estimated using field strength and geometry information. Two different algorithms are proposed for calculating the human body voltage using field strength data captured by the field sensor and human body coordinates recognized by the Kinect. First, using calibration data, the human body voltage was obtained by charging a person to a known voltage and walking through the field of vision, then a correction was performed to convert the field sensor data into the human body voltage. The second algorithm is based on solving Laplace equation. The human body is modeled by using a superposition of spheroids, and the E-field is solved analytically. Results of the algorithms were compared, with the proposed methodology providing less than a ±15%error margin for the human body voltage over a detection area of 2.0 m × 2.5 m.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8373722
Pages (from-to)842-851
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrostatic discharge
  • field mill
  • image recognition
  • Laplace equations
  • Microsoft kinect
  • tribocharging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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