A multisegment computer simulation of normal human gait

  • Gilchrist L
  • Winter D
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The goal of this project was to develop a computer simulation of normal human walking that would use as driving moments resultant joint moments from a gait analysis. The system description, initial conditions and driving moments were taken from an inverse dynamics analysis of a normal walking trial. A nine-segment three-dimensional (3-D) model, including a two-part foot, was used. Torsional, linear springs and dampers were used at the hip joints to keep the trunk vertical and at the knee and ankle joints to prevent nonphysiological motion. Dampers at other joints were required to ensure a smooth and realistic motion. The simulated human successfully completed one step (550 ms), including both single and double support phases. The model proved to be sensitive to changes in the spring stiffness values of the trunk controllers. Similar sensitivity was found with the springs used to prevent hyperextension of the knee at heel contact and of the metatarsal-phalangeal joint at push-off. In general, there was much less sensitivity to the damping coefficients. This simulation improves on previous efforts because it incorporates some features necessary in simulations designed to answer clinical science questions. Other control algorithms are required, however, to ensure that the model can be realistically adapted to different subjects.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Computer simulation
  • Gait

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  • L. A. Gilchrist

  • D. A. Winter

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