From quadrupedal to bipedal walking 'on the fly': the mechanics of dynamical mode transition in primates

Aerts, Peter, Goyens, Jana, Berillon, Gilles, D'Aout, Kristiaan ORCID: 0000-0002-6043-7744 and Druelle, François
(2023) From quadrupedal to bipedal walking 'on the fly': the mechanics of dynamical mode transition in primates. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 226 (2). jeb244792.

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We investigated how baboons transition from quadrupedal to bipedal walking without any significant interruption in their forward movement (i.e. transition 'on the fly'). Building on basic mechanical principles (momentum only changes when external forces/moments act on the body), insights into possible strategies for such a dynamical mode transition are provided and applied first to the recorded planar kinematics of an example walking sequence (including several continuous quadrupedal, transition and subsequent bipedal steps). Body dynamics are calculated from the kinematics. The strategy used in this worked example boils down to: crouch the hind parts and sprint them underneath the rising body centre of mass. Forward accelerations are not in play. Key characteristics of this transition strategy were extracted: progression speed, hip height, step duration (frequency), foot positioning at touchdown with respect to the hip and the body centre of mass (BCoM), and congruity between the moments of the ground reaction force about the BCoM and the rate of change of the total angular moment. Statistical analyses across the full sample (15 transitions of 10 individuals) confirm this strategy is always used and is shared across individuals. Finally, the costs (in J kg-1 m-1) linked to on the fly transitions were estimated. The costs are approximately double those of both the preceding quadrupedal and subsequent bipedal walking. Given the short duration of the transition as such (<1 s), it is argued that the energetic costs to change walking posture on the fly are negligible when considered in the context of the locomotor repertoire.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Primates, Gait, Walking, Posture, Locomotion, Mechanical Phenomena, Biomechanical Phenomena
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 May 2023 10:36
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 02:30
DOI: 10.1242/jeb.244792
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