General principles of legged locomotion

  • D. J. Todd
Part of the Chapman and Hall Advanced Industrial Technology Series book series (AITS)


The types of movement in animals and plants may be categorized as growth, change of shape, and locomotion, which is the movement of the body as a whole. Surface reaction locomotion depends on the forces applied at a surface and includes locomotion in cracks, burrows and on flat, sloping and inverted surfaces. This requires the animal or machine (hereafter collectively referred to as a mobile) to exert, against the surface, a force having a component in the direction of motion (but opposite in sign, so that the propulsive force is a backward thrust). In general, there are four kinds of force involved (including propulsive thrust) :
  1. 1)

    propulsion: thrust against the substrate in the direction of motion,

  2. 2)

    adhesion to allow anchorage for propulsive thrust,

  3. 3)

    adhesion to resist non-propulsive forces tending to detach the mobile from the substrate,

  4. 4)

    support to resist any forces tending to press the mobile against the substrate.



Stride Length Duty Factor Power Stroke Return Stroke Wave Gait 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. J. Todd 1985

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  • D. J. Todd

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