Phase plane modeling of leg motion

A. Beuter, H. Flashner, A. Arabyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Phase plane analysis of dynamical systems, in which variables are plotted against their time derivatives, has been recently emphasized as a general method for reconstructing system dynamics from data. The purpose of this experiment was to develop a model of leg movement in a stepping task using the phase plane approach. In this model, the leg is represented as a three-body linkage and the motion of the leg is assumed to be planar with four degrees of freedom. Experimental data was collected on one subject stepping six times, using a two dimensional videomotion analysis system with reflective markers placed on the lower limb joints. A computer program able to solve the equations of motion and compute the state of the system for a given task was implemented. This computer program was written to generate the motion of the leg for a given task using inverse kinematics and a preplanned foot path. Foot trajectories with cycloidal, constant acceleration/deceleration and sinusoidal velocity profiles were studied. From the results, an attempt was made to identify the variables which are measured and to determine the motion characteristics during stepping. The preliminary results support the concept of a hierarchical control structure with openloop control during normal operation. During routine activity there is no direct intervention of the Central Nervous System (CNS). The results support the existence of preprogramming and provide a starting point for the study of the development of control in multiarticulate movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Cybernetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Computer Science


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