Human locomotion: How humans move efficiently and stably
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University
Friday April 14, 4:00pm, 3-270
Healthy humans walk and run with lower energy consumption than most bipedal robots. Humans also move with greater stability, robustness, and versatility. In this two-part talk, we will first consider ‘energy optimality’ and next ‘stability and control’ in human locomotion.
I will first describe our experiments and optimization-based predictions, demonstrating that energy optimality can predict many aspects of human locomotion behavior, at least approximately – not just steady locomotion in a straight line, but also unsteady locomotion with changing speeds, and non-straight-line locomotion in complex curves. Building on this evidence, I will describe a computational framework for designing robotic prosthesis and exoskeletons that minimize human walking effort.
In the second part of the talk, I will describe our attempts to characterize the controller humans use to walk and run stably. We performed human experiments to record responses to perturbations and deviations from normal locomotion, and derived simple controllers that fit these human control responses. We show that some aspects of these controllers can also be explained, at least qualitatively, by energy-optimal perturbation recovery.