Dynamic Walking Videos


Plenary Talk: Tom Roberts - The Fleet-Footed Fauna

What Animal Athletes Can Teach Us About Efficiency, Evolution, and How to Build a Better Robot.

THOMAS ROBERTS, PhD Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Brown University

Tom Roberts studies animal locomotion with a particular interest in the link between the muscle function and locomotor performance. His research has included a wide range of animals, from frogs to coyotes, emus and elephants. He received his PhD from Harvard University and postdoctoral training at Northeastern University.

As part of my research on animal locomotion, I train turkeys to run on treadmills. Among the many things this process has revealed is that people react quite predictably to the idea: Turkeys? On treadmills? Why? In fact, the locker room of locomotor researchers is occupied by an oddball team of animal athletes. Some of these are not surprising, for example, cheetahs tell us something about speed and horses are good models for understanding efficiency and endurance. But others are less obvious: we learn about balance from guinea fowl, acceleration from tree frogs, muscle function from scallops, and springy tendons from turkeys. In each case, for a variety of reasons, a given species is particularly likely to reveal general principles of animal form and function that move our understanding forward.

Can animal locomotion teach us how to build robots? Recent years have seen exciting developments and remarkable progress in the development of robots that move like animals - running on legs, swimming with fins, and flying with flapping wings. Research on bio-inspired robots benefits from biologists' understanding of principles of animal movement, but it has become clear that good engineering requires a selective application of biological design principles. For example, sailors subjected to a submarine that moved with the herky-jerky motion of a swimming scallop would likely mutiny, but the near-silence of the scallop's muscular power generator could have utility for a stealthy vessel. It has also become clear that information flow in this process goes both ways, as the engineering process can reveal design challenges that biologists were unaware of, but nature presumably wasn't.


Robert Kambic - X-Ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (Abstract)


Dominic Farris - Mode Ultrasound Imaging for Studying Human Muscle Mechanics (Abstract)


Robert Gregg - From Machine to Biomimetic Control of Powered Prosthetic Legs (Abstract)


Benjamin Robertson - Is Passive Mechanical Assistance Beneficial at Compliant Joints? (Abstract)


Christopher Arellano - Arm Swing During Human Walking: Active and Passive Contributions to a Hybrid System (Abstract)


Shawn O'Connor - Physiological mechanisms underlying precition and optimization of metabolic cost during walking (Abstract)


Alexandra Voloshina - Biomechanical and energetic consequences of walking on uneven terrain (Abstract)


Karl Zelik - Modeling Benefits of Ankle Elasticity in Walking (Abstract)


Devin Jindrich - Active Control of Unsteady Legged Locomotion (Abstract)


M. Mause - Drift and deadbeat control in the Floquet structure of human running


Jonathan Matthis - Humans exploit the biomechanics of bipedal gait during visually guided walking over rough terrain (Abstract)


M. Mert Ankarali - TD-SLIP: A Better Predictive Model for Human Running (Abstract)


Tudor Comanescu - Collision-based analysis of walking versus running in humans


Albert Wu - Towards Robust Robotic Running and Steering in 3D Environments (Abstract)


Noah Cowan - Identification of Feedback Controllers in Locomoting Animals


Jesse Dean - A foot placement strategy for the active control of gait stability (Abstract)


Keonyoung Oh - Is push-off propulsion the winning strategy for energy efficient gait acceleration? 


Ludovic Righetti - Inverse dynamics with optimal distribution of contact forces for the control of legged robots (Abstract)


Daniel Karssen - Parallel Stiffness in Running Robots (Abstract)


Michael Slovich - HUME: A Bipedal Robot for Human-Centered Hyper-Agility


Letian Wang - Stable and versatile bipedal locomotion using Real Time Model Predictive Control (Abstract)


Andre Seyfarth - Conceptual models for real locomotion - can we bridge the gap? 


Heike Vallery - Robotic Assistance for Human Balance (Abstract)


Bruce Wiggin - Passive Elastic Exoskeleton Reduces Metabolic Cost of Walking (Abstract)


Dominic Farris - The Effects of Wearing a Spring-Loaded Ankle Exoskeleton (Abstract)


Rachel Jackson - Targeting specific muscles for rehabilitation withan EMG-controlled ankle-foot orthosis (Abstract)


Justin Seipel - Towards Dynamic Walking in Musculoskeletal Simulation (Abstract)


Manoj Srinivasan - Energetics and stability of human locomotion (Abstract)


Zhouhua Shen - Effects of Hip Torque and Leg Damping on the Stability of Locomotion


Anne Gutmann - Towards a general cost function for bouncing gaits (Abstract)


Fumiya Ida - Towards efficient, fast, and versatile running robots based on free vibration (Abstract)


Katie Byl - Decoupling Foothold Selection from Robustness to Terrain Noise


Art Kuo - Five Easy Pieces: Energetics of Human Locomotion


Michael Posa - Trajectory Optimization and Control of Rigid Body System Through Contact (Abstract)


Yuval Tassa - Synthesis of Robust Bipedal Behavior through Online Trajectory Optimization (Abstract)


Igor Mordatch - Discovery of Complex Behaviors through Contact-Invariant Optimization (Abstract)


Matt Haberland - Extracting Principles from Biology for Application to Running Robots using Optimization (Abstract)


Kamran Shamei - Estimation of Quasi-Stiffness of the Knee During Level Ground Walking (Abstract)


Christopher Richards - Using musculo-robotics to explore the influences of dynamic mechanical loading (Abstract)


Bob Peterka - Investigating how humans control balance during stance and gait (Abstract)


John Tester - A new muscle model with implications for actuation and control


Herman van der Kooij - Prediction of sensory reweighting and feedback gains in human postural control (Abstract)


Tim Kiemel - Closed-loop system identification


Jason Cortell - How one might realize practical, energy-efficient legged robots (Abstract)


Amy Wu - Heads will roll: Sensory integration model of postural response to lateral visual perturbations (Abstract)


C. David Remy - Gaits and Energetics in Robotic Locomotion (Abstract)


Harold Roberto Martinez Salazar - Can we design controllers for bipedal robots based on simple models (templates) of their dynamics? (Abstract)


Peter G. Adamcyzk - RoboFrog? Explosive Power from Elastic Tendons Without Escapements (Abstract)


Ionnis Havoutis - Progress in quadrupedal trotting with active compliance (Abstract)


Nocolai Konow - Series elastic compliance protects actuators during high-powered deceleration (Abstract)


Monica Daly - Some observations on leg control for running from experimental data on ground birds (Abstract)


J.W. Rankin - Insights gained from a three-dimensional musculoskeletal model into ostrich pelvic limb muscle (Abstract)

Stephen Gatesy - Long-axis rotation (LAR): A missing degree of freedom in avian bipedal locomotion (Abstract)