Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Mechanics Of Foot Travel: With So Many Silly Gaits To Choose From, Why Have We Adopted So Few?

Date:
September 16, 2005
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Despite having the bones and muscles to perform a variety of gaits, human beings have developed an overwhelming preference for just two: walking and running. Now, computer analysis that allows simulation of infinite two-legged locomotions has shown our favored modes of bi-pedal travel use the least amount of energy.

Human gaits can vary a great deal. This animation shows the two most common human gaits, walking and running. Movement of the center of body mass (superimposed) is shown in simplified versions of the two gaits. Cornell's Manoj Srinivasan and Andy Ruina used computer simulations to compare movement of the center of body mass in multiple other strange gaits with that of the human walk and run. They found walking to be the most energy efficient at low speeds and running the most efficient at high speeds.
Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Despite having the bones and muscles to perform a variety of gaits,human beings have developed an overwhelming preference for just two:walking and running. Now, computer analysis that allows simulation ofinfinite two-legged locomotions has shown our favored modes of bi-pedaltravel use the least amount of energy.

Indeed, in an article published in the current online edition of theBritish journal Nature, Cornell engineers Andy Ruina and ManojSrinivasan compare the mechanics of walking and running with "manyother strange and unpractised gaits." They used a set of computermodels that simulated physical measurements such as leg length, force,body velocity and trajectory, forward speed and work.

"We wish to find how a person can get from one place to anotherwith the least muscle work," they report. "Why do people not walk oreven run with a smooth level gait, like a waiter holding two cupsbrim-full of boiling coffee?"

The engineers' computer simulations conclude that walking issimply most energy efficient for travel at low speeds, and running isbest at higher speeds. And, they report, a third walk-run gait isoptimal for intermediate speeds, even though humans do not appear totake advantage of it.

The findings help to explain why the possible--butpreposterous--gaits in the Monty Python sketch, "Ministry of the SillyWalks," have never caught on in human locomotion. The researchers addthat extensions of this work might improve the design of prostheticdevices and energy-efficient bipedal robots.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "The Mechanics Of Foot Travel: With So Many Silly Gaits To Choose From, Why Have We Adopted So Few?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050916074420.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2005, September 16). The Mechanics Of Foot Travel: With So Many Silly Gaits To Choose From, Why Have We Adopted So Few?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050916074420.htm
National Science Foundation. "The Mechanics Of Foot Travel: With So Many Silly Gaits To Choose From, Why Have We Adopted So Few?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050916074420.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins