Locomotion and Robotics
The human body, like anything else that is large enough and slow enough, is bound by the laws of Newtonian mechanics. Our research is centered on understanding how animals (including people) and machines can and do move, from a Newtonian mechanics point of view.
One theme, going since about 1992, picks up on the Passive-Dynamics research of Tad McGeer. One of our near duplicates of his most advanced walking machines is shown walking at the right.
Our other research concerns the walking of real people, the brachiation (swinging from branches) of primates, the mechanics of hopping, the role of collisions in the energetic cost of locomotion, and the mechanics of rowing.
See separate sections of this site for discussion of bicycles and the role of non-holonomic contact in locomotion stability.
All locomotion and robotics links, papers, videos, etc.
: Simulation (MOV) (415KB)
Dan Jung made this Working Model simulation based on parameters and initial conditions found by in-house simulations. Art Kuo cleaned up the graphics in Dan's simulation. Gravity points slightly to the right.
If you have Working Model, here is the walker:
ZIP format (122 KB) |
SIT format (126 KB)
A demo version of Working Model can be obtained from Knowledge Revolution
Compare the simulation above with
: Cornell's 4 leg McGeer walker video (MOV) (498 KB)
MATLAB code to simulate some walking models is available on Mariano Garcia's home page