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Limb work and joint work minimisation reveal an energetic benefit to the elbows-back, knees-forward limb design in parasagittal quadrupeds. Supplementary material including data, simulation code and simulation results

Citation

Usherwood, James; Granatosky, Michael (2020), Limb work and joint work minimisation reveal an energetic benefit to the elbows-back, knees-forward limb design in parasagittal quadrupeds. Supplementary material including data, simulation code and simulation results, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.76hdr7sv4

Abstract

Quadrupedal animal locomotion is energetically costly. We explore two forms of mechanical work that may be relevant in imposing these physiological demands. Limb work, due to the forces and velocities between the stance foot and the centre of mass, could theoretically be zero given vertical limb forces and horizontal centre of mass path. To prevent pitching, skewed vertical force profiles would then be required, with forelimb forces high in late stance and hindlimb forces high in early stance. By contrast, joint work – the positive mechanical work performed by the limb joints – would be reduced with forces directed through the hip or shoulder joints. Measured quadruped kinetics show features consistent with compromised reduction of both forms of work, suggesting some degree of, but not perfect, inter-joint energy transfer. The elbows-back, knees-forward design reduces the joint work demand of a low limb-work, skewed, vertical force profile. This geometry allows periods of high force to be supported when the distal segment is near vertical, imposing low moments about the elbow or knee, while the shoulder or hip avoids high joint power despite high moments because the proximal segment barely rotates – translation over this period is due to rotation of the distal segment.

Methods

The data are derived from previous force measurements as cited.

The simulations are as described in ESM_Main

Usage Notes

ESM_Main describes the folder. The folder is compressed (.zip) in order to maintain the folder structure to ease running of the labview simulation code.

Funding

Wellcome Trust, Award: 202854/Z/16/Z