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While neuroscientists identify increasingly complex neural circuits that control animal and human gait, biomechanists find that locomotion requires little control if principles of legged mechanics are heeded that shape and exploit the dynamics of legged systems. Here, we show that muscle reflexes could be vital to link these two observations. We develop a(More)
The zero moment point (ZMP), foot rotation indicator (FRI) and centroidal moment pivot (CMP) are important ground reference points used for motion identification and control in biomechanics and legged robotics. In this paper, we study these reference points for normal human walking, and discuss their applicability in legged machine control. Since the FRI(More)
In the nearly six decades since researchers began to explore methods of creating them, exoskeletons have progressed from the stuff of science fiction to nearly commercialized products. While there are still many challenges associated with exoskeleton development that have yet to be perfected, the advances in the field have been enormous. In this paper, we(More)
In running, the spring-like axial behavior of stance limbs is a well-known and remarkably general feature. Here we consider how the rotational behavior of limbs affects running stability. It is commonly observed that running animals retract their limbs just prior to ground contact, moving each foot rearward towards the ground. In this study, we employ a(More)
Over time, leg prostheses have improved in design, but have been incapable of actively adapting to different walking velocities in a manner comparable to a biological limb. People with a leg amputation using such commercially available passive-elastic prostheses require significantly more metabolic energy to walk at the same velocities, prefer to walk(More)
Mammals use the elastic components in their legs (principally tendons, ligaments, and muscles) to run economically, while maintaining consistent support mechanics across various surfaces. To examine how leg stiffness and metabolic cost are affected by changes in substrate stiffness, we built experimental platforms with adjustable stiffness to fit on a(More)
We present a powered knee prosthesis with two series-elastic actuators positioned in parallel in an agonist-antagonist arrangement. To motivate the knee's design, we developed a prosthetic knee model that comprises a variable damper and two series-elastic clutch units that span the knee joint. Using human gait data to constrain the model's joint to move(More)
Angular momentum is a conserved physical quantity for isolated systems where no external moments act about a body's center of mass (CM). However, in the case of legged locomotion, where the body interacts with the environment (ground reaction forces), there is no a priori reason for this relationship to hold. A key hypothesis in this paper is that angular(More)
Many soldiers are expected to carry heavy loads over extended distances, often resulting in physical and mental fatigue. In this study, the design and testing of an autonomous leg exoskeleton is presented. The aim of the device is to reduce the energetic cost of loaded walking. In addition, we present the Augmentation Factor, a general framework of(More)
Control schemes for powered ankle-foot prostheses rely upon fixed torque-ankle state relationships obtained from measurements of intact humans walking at target speeds and across known terrains. Although effective at their intended gait speed and terrain, these controllers do not allow for adaptation to environmental disturbances such as speed transients(More)