Forma, Vol. 19 (No. 4), pp. 427-441, 2004
Original Paper

Strategy for Flexible Walking

Akane Ohgane1, Kunishige Ohgane2*, Hitoshi Mahara2 and Tatsuyuki Ohtsuki1

1Department of Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
2National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba Central 2, 1-1-1, Umezono, Tsukuba 305-8568, Japan

(Received January 24, 2005; Accepted May 13, 2005)

Keywords: Body Form, Locomotor Pattern, Flexibility

Abstract. An important feature of human locomotor control is the instant adaptability to unpredictable changes of conditions surrounding the locomotion. Humans, for example, can seamlessly adapt flexibly their walking gait following various perturbations to walking speed such as external forces (e.g., induced by a collision with humans) or body changes (e.g., sudden ankle impairment as a result of an injury). In this study, we hypothesize that such various perturbations can be overcome by flexible changes of walking pattern induced through modulating the body form (posture) at the beginning of the stance phase—the initial state. Using a walking model, we validate our hypothesis through computer simulations.

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