Symmetry in running

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Science  14 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4743, pp. 1292-1294
DOI: 10.1126/science.3945823


Symmetry plays a key role in simplifying the control of legged robots and in giving them the ability to run and balance. The symmetries studied describe motion of the body and legs in terms of even and odd functions of time. A legged system running with these symmetries travels with a fixed forward speed and a stable upright posture. The symmetries used for controlling legged robots may help in elucidating the legged behavior of animals. Measurements of running in the cat and human show that the feet and body sometimes move as predicted by the even and odd symmetry functions.

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