[A03] Principles of Animal Locomotion
[W09] Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement
[M84] Muscles, Reflexes and Locomotion
[E08] Neuromechanics of Human Movement
Syllabus & Resources
PART I. MECHANICS OF ANIMAL LOCOMOTION
Chapter 1. Legged
#01 Topics: 1.1 Legged
Locomotion across the Animal Kingdom (morphology and
behavior, leg number and gaits, common dynamics in stance of
walking and running). Resources: Ch 1 & 5 of A03, gaits,
#02 Topics: 1.2 Walking
(inverted pendulum model for walking, impacts as inherent part of
legged locomotion, dynamic walking speed limit, double-pendulum
swing leg model). Resources: impact
#03 Topics: 1.2 contd (passive dynamic walkers, passive dynamic stability). 1.3 Running (spring mass model for running, dynamic similarity of running animals). Resources: Ch 7 of A03, passive dynamic walker, passive dynamic stability, spring-mass model, dimensionless leg stiffness, Ch 9 of M84.
#04 Topics: 1.3 contd (mechanical self-stability). 1.4
Combination (impulsive walking and running, principle of
load sharing in walking, spring-mass walking and running).
#05 Topics: 1.5
Segmentation (mechanical advantage in segmented legs, bow
and zigzag mode, instability of leg compression in zigzag mode,
measures to force stable compression). Resources: mechanical
#06 Topics: 1.6 Standing
and Balance (human balance strategies, inverted pendulum
balance model for standing, linear inverted pendulum model for
stopping after a step). Resources: human
balance strategies, linear
pendulum model, capture
and flywheel extension.
#07 Topics: 1.6 contd (3D linear inverted pendulum model
for locomotion balance, Dynamic balance in running). 1.7
Summary (key points discussed and further topics not
covered). Resources: 3D
inverted pendulum model, M.H. Raibert: Legged Robots That
Balance. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. Poincare
#08 [Sep 16] Guest Lecture: Robotics in Rehabilitation
after Neurological Injury (A Koenig, ETH Sensory-Motor Systems
Chapter 2. Flying
#08 [Sep 16] Topics: 2.1
Gliding (drag force and its friction and pressure
components, dynamic similarity in fluids and Reynolds
number). Resources: Chapters 3.4, 4.2 and 10.1 in A03.
#10 [Sep23] 2.2 Hovering and
Powered Flight (airflow around hovering animals, lift
generation, aerodynamics of flapping flight). Resources: Ch
11 in A03.
#11 [Sep 28] Topics: 2.2 contd. (aerodynamics of flapping
flight, flying gaits). 2.3
Resources: Chapters 11.2 and 12.1-12.3 in A03.
Chapter 3. Swimming
#11 [Sep 28] Topics: 3.1
Buoyancy (Archimedes' principle, buoyancy organs,
buoyancy in denser-than-water animals). Resources: Ch 17 in A03.
#12 [Sep 30] Topics: 3.2
Swimming with Oars (drag powered swimming, Froude
efficiency, swimming pattern). 3.3
Swimming with Hydrofoils and by Undulation
(swimming pattern using lift on paired fins, swimming with
hydrofoil tails, undulating fishes, swimming gaits). 3.4
Summary Resources: Ch 14 and 15 in A03.
PART II. MOTOR CONTROL
Chapter 4. Muscle Motors
#13 [Oct 5] Topics:
4.1 Muscle Mechanics (muscle tendon units, activation
dynamics, force-length curve, force-velocity curve)
4.2 Muscle and Metabolic Power (optimal muscle power
output, metabolic rate, muscle efficiency). Resources: Ch 1 in M84
or Ch 9 in W09 or Ch 6 in E08. metabolic
#14 [Oct 7] Topics: 4.3
Hill-Type Muscle Models (contractile, series and parallel
elastic elements, pennation, moment arms).
4.4 Comparison to Technical Actuators (functional
comparison with eletromagnetic actuators, limitations of technical
actuators in locomotion, partial solutions including series
elastic actuators, clutches and cable drives). Resources: Hill
#15 [Oct 12] Topics: 4.5 Summary
Chapter 5. Experimental Evidences about Motor Control
#15 [Oct 12] Topics:
5.1 Motor Patterns (EMG recording and muscle activity,
motor patterns of major human leg muscles, muscle synergies,
alpha-motoneurons as the last common pathway of control, synapses
transmitting control between cells, firing rate and
recruitment). Resources: Ch 5 in E08, motor patterns
#16 [Oct 14] Topics: 5.1 contd. (competing theories
about the origin of motor patterns)
5.2 Evidence favoring Central Rhythm Control (Graham
Brown's experiments 1910-1914, hard evidence for central pattern
generators in invertebrates, summary of evidence for CPG control
in vertebrates). Resources: Brown's
#17 [Oct 19] Topics: [PROJECT PROPOSALS]
5.3 Evidence favoring Reflex Control (components of
spinal reflexes, early evidence for reflex control 1906, probing
spinal circuitry). Resources: Ch 7 in E08, signal content of
spindles and GTOs,
#18 [Oct 21] Topics: 5.3 contd.
(most commonly observed spinal pathways, summary of
evidence on reflex control in locomotion).
Resources: Ch 7 in E08, H-reflex
method to probe circuitry.
Chapter 6. Models of Motor Control
#19 [Oct 21] Topics: 6.1
General Outline of Neuromuscular Control Models (common
components of neuromuscular control models of locomotion,
references for models of components at different levels of
detail). 6.2 Representative
Example of a CPG-driven Model (Taga et al. 1991)
(musculoskeletal system). Resources: Taga
et al. paper.
#20 [Oct 26] Topics: 6.2 contd. (free body diagram and
equations of motion, neuron model, neural rhythm generator layout,
feedback pathways, model results and criticism). Resources:
and oscillator model.
#21 [Oct 28] Topics: 6.3 Alternative Motor Control Models (Example model testing lambda hypothesis, a plea for simple and testable models of motor control, Prochazka's reflex model for load compensation, generalization of positive force feedback control connecting legged dynamics and motor control).
Chapter 7. Comparison to Legged
7.1 Static Locomotion and ZMP-based Control (polygon of support and hexapod locomotion, zero moment point, computed ZMP, ZMP in multi-body systems, generating walking patterns)
7.2 Virtual Model Control (basic idea, virtual model implementation)
7.3 Raibert Controller and Virtual Leg Control (Raibert platform, 3-part-4stage controller for height, velocity and attitude, virtual leg control of multi-legged Raibert robots)
7.4 Summary (connection
between robot and motor control? mutual inspiration?)
PART III - TEAM PROJECTS (November)