It has previously been shown that a bipedal model consisting of a point mass supported by spring limbs can be tuned to simulate periodic human walking. In this study, we incorporated roller feet into the spring-mass model and evaluated the effect of roller radius, impact angle, and limb stiffness on spatiotemporal gait characteristics, ground reactions, and center-of-pressure excursions. We also evaluated the potential of the improved model to predict speed-dependent changes in ground reaction forces and center-of-pressure excursions observed during normal human walking. We were able to find limit cycles that exhibited gait-like motion across a wide spectrum of model parameters. Incorporation of the roller foot reduced the magnitude of peak ground reaction forces and allowed for forward center-of-pressure progression, making the model more consistent with human walking. At a fixed walking speed, increasing the limb impact angle reduced the cadence and prolonged stance duration. Increases in either limb stiffness or impact angle tended to result in more oscillatory vertical ground reactions. Simultaneous modulation of the limb impact angle and limb stiffness was needed to induce speed-related changes in ground reactions that were consistent with those measured during normal human walking, with better quantitative agreement achieved at slower speeds. We conclude that a simple mass-spring model with roller feet can well describe ground reaction forces, and hence center of mass motion, observed during normal human walking.
A Simple Mass-Spring Model With Roller Feet Can Induce the Ground Reactions Observed in Human Walking
Whittington, B. R., and Thelen, D. G. (November 26, 2008). "A Simple Mass-Spring Model With Roller Feet Can Induce the Ground Reactions Observed in Human Walking." ASME. J Biomech Eng. January 2009; 131(1): 011013. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3005147
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