Journal article

Interactive locomotion: Investigation and modeling of physically-paired humans while walking

In spite of extensive studies on human walking, less research has been conducted on human walking gait adaptation during interaction with another human. In this paper, we study a particular case of interactive locomotion where two humans carry a rigid object together. Experimental data from two persons walking together, one in front of the other, while carrying a stretcher-like object is presented, and the adaptation of their walking gaits and coordination of the foot-fall patterns are analyzed. It is observed that in more than 70% of the experiments the subjects synchronize their walking gaits; it is shown that these walking gaits can be associated to quadrupedal gaits. Moreover, in order to understand the extent by which the passive dynamics can explain this synchronization behaviour, a simple 2D model, made of two-coupled spring-loaded inverted pendulums, is developed, and a comparison between the experiments and simulations with this model is presented, showing that with this simple model we are able to reproduce some aspects of human walking behaviour when paired with another human.

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