Regular and Chaotic Dynamics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 267–282

Steering by transient destabilization in piecewise-holonomic models of legged locomotion

Nonholonomic Mechanics


We study turning strategies in low-dimensional models of legged locomotion in the horizontal plane. Since the constraints due to foot placement switch from stride to stride, these models are piecewise-holonomic, and this can cause stride-to-stride changes in angular momentum and in the ratio of rotational to translational kinetic energy. Using phase plane analyses and parameter studies based on experimental observations of insects, we investigate how these changes can be harnessed to produce rapid turns, and compare the results with dynamical cockroach data. Qualitative similarities between the model and insect data suggest general strategies that could be implemented in legged robots.

Key words

biomechanics hybrid dynamical system insect locomotion passive stability piecewise holonomy robotics turning transient instability 

MSC2000 numbers

37J15 37J25 70E18 70H03 37J60 92B05 


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Copyright information

© MAIK Nauka 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Program in Applied and Computational MathematicsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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