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Trunk pitch oscillations for energy trade-offs in bipedal running birds and robots




Bipedal animals have diverse morphologies and advanced locomotion abilities. Terrestrial birds, in particular, display agile, efficient, and robust running motion, in which they exploit the interplay between the body segment masses and moment of inertias. On the other hand, most legged robots are not able to generate such versatile and energy-efficient motion and often disregard trunk movements as a means to enhance their locomotion capabilities. Recent research investigated how trunk motions affect the gait characteristics of humans, but there is a lack of analysis across different bipedal morphologies. To address this issue, we analyze avian running based on a spring-loaded inverted pendulum model with a pronograde (horizontal) trunk. We use a virtual point based control scheme and modify the alignment of the ground reaction forces to assess how our control strategy influences the trunk pitch oscillations and energetics of the locomotion. We derive three potential key strategies to leverage trunk pitch motions that minimize either the energy fluctuations of the center of mass or the work performed by the hip and leg. We suggest how these strategies could be used in legged robotics.

Author(s): Özge Drama and Alexander Badri-Spröwitz
Journal: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Volume: 15
Number (issue): 3
Year: 2020
Month: March

Department(s): Dynamic Locomotion
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

Digital: True
DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/ab7570
ISBN: 1748-3190
State: Published
URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-3190/ab7570

Links: Youtube
Attachments: Video


  title = {Trunk pitch oscillations for energy trade-offs in bipedal running birds and robots},
  author = {Drama, Özge and Badri-Spr{\"o}witz, Alexander},
  journal = {Bioinspiration & Biomimetics},
  volume = {15},
  number = {3},
  month = mar,
  year = {2020},
  url = {https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-3190/ab7570},
  month_numeric = {3}