Walking and running

Manoj Srinivasan

(Princeton,
Mechanical Engineering)

Our legs are capable of much more than just walking and running. But we

"walk" when we wish to travel from point A to point B and are not in a

hurry. We "run" when we are rushed. Why? Here I'll show how this gait

transition can be explained by the hypothesis of energetic optimality in

the context of a very simple mathematical model of a bipedal animal.

I'll then comment on extensions to this simple model working toward a

simple complete theory of two-legged terrestrial locomotion.