Research Papers

Quantifying Dynamic Characteristics of Human Walking for Comprehensive Gait Cycle

[+] Author and Article Information
Carlotta Mummolo

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace
Polytechnic Institute of New York University,
Brooklyn, NY 11201;
Department of Mechanics, Mathematics,
and Management,
Polytechnic of Bari,
Bari 70126, Italy

Luigi Mangialardi

Department of Mechanics, Mathematics,
and Management,
Polytechnic of Bari,
Bari 70126, Italy

Joo H. Kim

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace
Polytechnic Institute of New York University,
Brooklyn, NY 11201
e-mail: jhkim@poly.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Manuscript received November 19, 2012; final manuscript received May 29, 2013; accepted manuscript posted June 5, 2013; published online July 10, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Richard Neptune.

J Biomech Eng 135(9), 091006 (Jul 10, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: BIO-12-1573; doi: 10.1115/1.4024755 History: Received November 19, 2012; Revised May 29, 2013; Accepted June 05, 2013

Normal human walking typically consists of phases during which the body is statically unbalanced while maintaining dynamic stability. Quantifying the dynamic characteristics of human walking can provide better understanding of gait principles. We introduce a novel quantitative index, the dynamic gait measure (DGM), for comprehensive gait cycle. The DGM quantifies the effects of inertia and the static balance instability in terms of zero-moment point and ground projection of center of mass and incorporates the time-varying foot support region (FSR) and the threshold between static and dynamic walking. Also, a framework of determining the DGM from experimental data is introduced, in which the gait cycle segmentation is further refined. A multisegmental foot model is integrated into a biped system to reconstruct the walking motion from experiments, which demonstrates the time-varying FSR for different subphases. The proof-of-concept results of the DGM from a gait experiment are demonstrated. The DGM results are analyzed along with other established features and indices of normal human walking. The DGM provides a measure of static balance instability of biped walking during each (sub)phase as well as the entire gait cycle. The DGM of normal human walking has the potential to provide some scientific insights in understanding biped walking principles, which can also be useful for their engineering and clinical applications.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Human biped and multisegmental foot models for walking

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Fig. 2

Gait cycle and phases (figure partially adopted and modified from Refs. [40,41])

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Fig. 3

Subphase segmentation of one-step period shown for the stance right foot and the landing left foot. The uppercase T represents time duration and the lowercase t represents time instant.

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Fig. 4

Foot-ground contact areas. The dashed areas indicate the foot contact region; the union of dashed and dotted areas represents the FSR.

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Fig. 5

The COP, ZMP, and GCOM in the sagittal plane during the SS and DS phases

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Fig. 6

One-step human walking motion in the sagittal plane reconstructed from the experiment and the calculated ZMP trajectory (vertical bars)

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Fig. 7

ZMP and COP trajectories in the three subphases: foot-flat SS1 (circles), toe contact SS2 (squares), and toe/heel contact DS (rhombs)

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Fig. 8

ZMP (thick), limiting GCOM (thin), and GCOM (dashed) trajectories during normal walking



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