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.