# Mechanics of dog walking compared with a passive, stiff-limbed, 4-bar linkage model, and their collisional implications

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3 Mechanics of quadrupedal walking 535 This definition of hind is appropriate for use in the 4-bar model as the model assumes symmetry about the vertical and a duty factor (DF) of.5 (as the legs are infinitely stiff). True maximum sweep values are larger because the DF is >.5 during walking, and are somewhat biased so that the hindfoot travels further back than it does forwards with respect to the hip. However, the aim of the model is to make the simplest default position, with which to contrast empirical observation. We calculate an approximation of the moment of inertia (second moment of mass) of the body about the COM with the following assumptions: the mass distribution behind the COM is even and the distribution after the COM towards the shoulders is also even, but the mass is biased towards the shoulders such that p=.6. It turns out that modelled changes in rotational kinetic energy account for only a very small proportion of energy interchange (the amplitude in our simulations is typically 18 times less than for potential energy); therefore, we consider this very basic approximation for the moment of inertia to be adequate for the purposes of this study, and do not consider rotational kinetic energy further. The model uses a geometric form for phase ( geom ) as an input for the geometry: geom = ( fore + fore *) / 4 fore, (3) where fore is the maximum angle from vertical swept by the forelegs, and fore * is the angle of the forelegs from vertical at the instant of hindfoot placement (Fig. 1). As the magnitude of the velocity varies little throughout a stride, despite fluctuations in kinetic energy, the two forms for phase (Equations 1 and 3) give indistinguishable (<1% difference) values. Collision calculations The instantaneous change in velocity at each foot-on of the stiff-legged walking model is associated with a collision [see (Ruina et al., 5) for extensive discussion of collision mechanics]. Treating this collision as inelastic, a mechanical energetic cost of these collisions can be calculated from the velocity of the COM immediately before foot-on (v) and the step change in direction of the COM ( ) (Fig. ): v / v = cos( ), (4) where v is the velocity directly after the collision, before any energy return has taken place. From this, the ratio of post- and pre-collision kinetic energies (E k and E k, respectively) can be calculated: E k / E k = cos ( ). (5) Therefore, the energy lost with each sudden redirection of the COM trajectory at both hind and front foot placement can be calculated from the stiff-limbed 4-bar linkage model described above: E coll = E k E k = G m b v [1 cos ( )]. (6) It is worth noting that, although the magnitude of the accelerations (and so forces) at each collision is high v COM v γ Fig.. Collision geometry at foreleg contact. A component of the centre of mass (COM) velocity just prior to collision v can be maintained after the collision (v ) despite an inelastic redirection through an angle determined from the 4-bar linkage geometry. The collisional energy loss calculated at each leg contact is dependent on both velocity and the angle with which the COM path is suddenly deflected. (approaching infinite with a stiff-limbed model) and dependent on the simulation step size, energy losses associated with collision are finite and relatively insensitive to simulation step size. Model powering strategies For steady speed walking to be maintained, the energetic losses due to COM collision at each foot placement must be recovered over the stride cycle. The timing of energy return has a bearing on the collision energy losses and/or the speed that can be achieved for a given cost. For the completely stifflimbed walker, energy should ideally be put into the system only directly following a collision event, as this allows the greatest period at highest speed for a given collisional energy loss; any other energy input strategy would require higher velocities at the instant of collision (and so higher collisional energy losses) if the same average horizontal velocity was to be achieved. We therefore study the collision energy losses associated with three extreme energy input strategies: first, an immediate recovery of each energy loss directly after each collision (this is the strategy assumed in all previous sections); second, a recovery of energy only directly after forelimb contact (resulting in a reduced total mechanical energy between hindfoot contact and forefoot contact); third, a recovery of energy only directly after hindlimb contact. Note that, for fair comparison, the initial energy conditions are adjusted so that the mean speed is the same in each case. Empirical measurements Dogs and forceplate and integrations Five sound pet dogs covering a moderate range of sizes and proportions (Table 1) were walked over a forceplate, following procedures approved by the Royal Veterinary College. Speeds were selected at which each dog appeared to walk steadily without breaking into a trot or pausing. Non-dimensionalised speeds (Froude numbers Fr=V /gl hind, where g is the acceleration due to gravity) were calculated following Alexander and Jayes (Alexander and Jayes, 1983), using the hindlimb length (floor to hip during standing) as the

4 536 J. R. Usherwood, S. B. Williams and A. M. Wilson Table 1. Morphology and key kinematic variables for the five dogs Dog 1 Dog Dog 3* Dog 4 Dog 5 Breed Labrador Australian shepherd Australian shepherd Springer spaniel Bull terrier Sex Male Male Female Male Male Mass (kg) Hindlimb (m) Back (m) Forelimb (m) Number of trials Mean ± 1 s.d. hind ( ) 5.3±. 6.7±1. 3.4± ± ±.9 Mean phase ± 1 s.d. (%) 16.5±.9 1.9± ± ± ±1.5 *The dog for which example trials of very slow, slow and moderate walking (Fig. 3) were taken. Excluded from Fig. 4 as energy recovery was <5% throughout the Froude number range; this dog exhibited a bouncing gait even when kinematically walking. representative length. Basic two-dimensional kinematic parameters (from 4 Hz 5-camera Qualisys system; Qualisys, Gothenberg, Sweden) and ground reaction forces (from a Kistler 987BA; Kistler Instruments Ltd, Alton, UK) recording at 1 Hz and low-pass filtered at 5 Hz with a zero-lag digital fourth-order Butterworth filter were repeatedly recorded for single steps. Mean horizontal velocity, required as a model input and for forceplate integration (see below), was derived from motion of a marker sited on the trunk at approximately halfway down the seventh rib. Foot-on timings (required for limb phase, an input of the model) and foot-off timings (to show periods of triple support) were assessed from kinematic markers on the feet. Motions of the COM were calculated from the measured ground reaction forces, as were the associated changes in potential and kinetic energy, following the principles described by Cavagna (Cavagna, 1975). In order to minimise drift due to integrating or double-integrating over long periods, we used measurements for single steps (we use from hind-on to the contralateral hind-on) and duplicated the derived values, assuming walking to be a symmetrical gait, to provide results for a complete stride (two steps). In addition, it was assumed that there is no net change in COM height over a step (mean vertical velocity is zero), the mean horizontal velocity is that observed from kinematics and there is no net horizontal acceleration or deceleration. Unlike Cavagna (Cavagna, 1975), we include vertical kinetic energy in our calculation of kinetic energy. COM power (external mechanical power) is calculated from the changes in the sum of potential and kinetic energies for a small time-step ( t): P COM = (E p + E k ) / t. (7) Energy recovery and compression ratio To provide a quantitative assessment of the degree to which walking quadrupeds follow stiff-limbed, passive walking, we use both the widely discussed term energy recovery (e.g. Cavagna et al., 1977; Griffin et al., 4) and a new term, which we describe as a compression ratio (CR). Energy recovery describes the proportion of combined potential and kinetic energy fluctuation that could be achieved passively: ER = 1 E m / ( E k + E p ) = ( E k + E p E m )/ ( E k + E p ), (8) where E m is the total instantaneous mechanical (E p +E k ) energy. A value of 1 would suggest perfect E k -E p -E k interchange and a constant zero P COM. The CR is based on the variations in potential energy that would occur if the quadruped was stiff-limbed, using the observed morphology and foot kinematics. It is based on the amplitude of changes in energy, and takes no account of timing. It can be used as a measure of the degree to which limbs can be viewed as being stiff: CR = a Ep,obs / a Ep,mod, (9) where a Ep,obs is the amplitude of the forceplate-derived variation in potential energy, and a Ep,mod is that derived from the stiff-limbed model. A value of zero would show that the COM travelled in a completely level path; a value of 1 suggests that the COM changes height exactly as calculated from the rigid 4-bar linkage model. Note that this metric is only useful for walking: values near 1 can be achieved with trotting, but it should not then be inferred that stiff limbs are being used. Also note that for a walking biped, this would be simply CR biped = a Ep,obs / m b gl [1 cos( )], (1) where L is the leg length and the maximum leg angle from vertical. Results and discussion Model- and forceplate-derived results for three trials of one dog (Dog 3, an Australian Shepherd; Table 1) are shown in Fig. 3. The appropriate observed kinematic inputs (V,, T) from each trial were used as inputs to the model. These three trials were selected as they cover very slow, slow and moderate walking speeds, and deviations from the zero acceleration assumption used in the forceplate integrations were small

5 Mechanics of quadrupedal walking 537 (impulses over the integration period would have accounted maximally for a change in.6 m s 1 or.7 m s 1 in horizontal and vertical velocity, respectively). Each trace shows values for a complete stride, adjusted to start at hindfoot contact (derived from kinematics). Results for three of the four additional dogs broadly matched those for the moderate example trial (Fig. 3iii). The remaining dog, also the smallest, locomoted at an appropriate range of Froude numbers (.3.46) for walking dogs; however, this dog appeared to use a bouncing gait at these Froude numbers, with the energy recovery values often below 5%. Fluctuations in E p and E k : energy recovery and the compression ratio At low speeds, fluctuations in potential energy approach those predicted by the stifflimbed geometry (Fig. 3iA, and the CR of Fig. 4). However, this is associated with energy input as the COM rises, and loss as it falls again (Fig. 3iE), as indicated by the power profile, the low amplitude of the E k fluctuations (Fig. 3iB) and the diminished energy recovery [Fig. 4, matching the observations of Griffin et al. (Griffin et al., 4)]. At intermediate speeds, observed fluctuations in E p are of a lower amplitude and match the stiff-limbed model less well, presumably indicating that the limbs compress to a greater extent. However, E k -E p -E k energy interchange is more effective during periods of double support (one hindand one forefoot), suggesting passive stifflimbed or inverted pendulum mechanisms are effective: COM powers are low during this period (Fig. 3iiE), and energy recovery is at a maximum (Fig. 4) at these speeds. At higher walking speeds, the observed E p fluctuations flatten further, and COM powers are consistent with spring-like behaviour of the forelimbs, with mechanical energy lost during the first half of stance and recovered during the second half. This theme continues with increasing speed, with a reduction in both energy recovery (suggesting more spring-like behaviour and less stiff-limbed or inverted-pendulum energy interchange) and the CR (indicating that limbs compress to a greater extent). These results show the value of the term energy recovery and the proposed term compression ratio in the study of walking. Although energy recovery has proved effective in indicating the potential for passive E p -E k -E p interchange, it is unable to provide an indication of how important this interchange is. Consider a large animal walking with a near- Groucho gait (with a level, constant speed COM) that fluctuates E p and E k by only a very small amount. If this small ΔE p (J) ΔE k (J) a z (m s ) a x (m s ) COM power (W) A B C D E F H F V=.81 m s 1 Fr=.145 H1 F1 i ii iii H F V=.85 m s 1 Fr= Time (s) F H1 F1 H F V=1.14 m s 1 Fr=.88 H1 F1 fluctuation happened to be exactly out of phase, consideration of energy recovery alone might suggest that it was walking efficiently, while each limb performed massive internal negative and positive works [and, presumably, at high metabolic cost (Ortega and Farley, 5)]. Without resorting to leg-by-leg forceplate measurements and analysis, the CR provides an indication of the energy fluctuations that would be associated with stiff-limbed walking, and therefore how much weight to put on the consideration of the energy recovery term. So, there are two key questions to be asked when studying a walking animal: what proportion of the E k -E p -E k interchanges may be considered passive and to what extent might this be achieved using stiff limbs. Although a full inverse dynamics F H F Fig. 3. Observed and model energy fluctuations (A,B), accelerations (C,D) and powers (E) for three example walking strides ranging from very slow (i) through slow (ii) to moderate (iii). Model outcomes, derived using empirical kinematic inputs and the stifflimbed, constant energy (the immediate energy recovery strategy) model are shown in blue; values derived from forceplate measurements and kinematics are shown in red. Model accelerations go off-scale at the instants of each foot initial contact. Foot contact timings (F) can be used to identify periods of double and triple support.

6 538 J. R. Usherwood, S. B. Williams and A. M. Wilson CR Froude number Dog 1 Dog Dog 3 (example) Dog 4 Fig. 4. Combined summary results for four walking dogs over a range of speeds. Solid outlines relate to the left axis [compression ratio (CR)] and represent the observed fluctuations in potential energy as a proportion of those calculated from stiff-limbed 4-bar linkage geometry. Symbols with grey outlines relate to the right-hand axis [energy recovery (ER)] and represent the effectiveness of energy interchange between kinetic and potential energies (1 being perfect). Lines show quadratic fits. assessment of the walking animal is required to answer these questions fully, we consider energy recovery and CR to provide broad metrics for these two questions. Each of these terms indicates necessary but not adequate conditions for passive, ER stiff-limbed walking. High values of each can potentially be achieved with near-groucho (ER) or bouncing (CR) walking. High values for both, however, provide strong evidence for passive, stiff-limbed walking mechanics without the requirement of a full inverse dynamics analysis. Observed and model accelerations (forces) Deviations between observed and model vertical and horizontal accelerations can be broadly understood by consideration of a certain degree of limb compliance, increasing with speed. The model predicts very high accelerations (or forces) at the instant of each foot placement; forceplate records show that there is a delay between foot placement and peak force, and the force peaks are smoothed. Once this is taken into account, the model is effective in accounting for both horizontal and vertical accelerations, particularly during periods of double (one hind-, one forefoot) stance (Fig. 3C,D). With increasing speeds, the model predicts larger components of the vertical impulse to be contained in the collision spikes. Mean vertical acceleration remains zero (mean vertical force = body weight) but, while the COM arcs along its trajectory, centripetal acceleration requirements become apparent vertical accelerations during the majority of the stride fall below zero. The model indicates that this trend would continue with increasing speed until the dog requires vertical accelerations below 9.81 m s ; at this point there is insufficient gravity to keep the model dog in contact with the ground, and walking cannot be maintained. For the morphological and kinematic inputs of the medium trial ( hind =4.8, =13.%), this condition would occur at a Froude number of.84; with the same parameters but a phase of % Collision energy loss per step (J) 4 A B H-F H-F H F-H F- H-F-H-F- C D Phase (%) Phase (%) Fig. 5. Model collisional energy losses for a step with full ranges of forelimb hindlimb phases. A ±5% limb phase suggests exactly even timing between hind- and forefoot contacts (H-F-H-F-, represented by vertical grey broken lines). Dotted lines represent energy lost at hind-foot contact; broken lines the energy lost at forefoot contact; solid lines the total energy lost for a step (one hind- and one forefoot contact). Three hypothetical powering strategies are shown: immediate recovery of energy loss (black); energy recovery only directly after forefoot contact (red) (most realistic); energy recovery only after hindfoot contact (blue). (A) Results for a fore-aft symmetrical walking dog with even fore- and hindleg lengths and a centre of mass (COM) mid-way along the body. (B) As for A, but with a realistic bias in leg lengths (foreleg =.47 m, hindleg =.46 m). (C) As for A, but with a realistic bias in mass position, with the COM towards the shoulders (p=.6). (D) Results using realistic values of both limb length and mass bias. The underlying grey box represents the observed range of mean phases for walking dogs.

7 Mechanics of quadrupedal walking 539 or 5% (pacing or trotting footfall pattern), at Fr>.76; with a phase of 5%, at Fr>.84. This phenomenon, therefore, occurs at speeds considerably greater than those tested in this study. This speed limitation to walking is largely equivalent to that described by Alexander (1989) and Usherwood (5), traditionally understood using inverted pendulum mechanics to describe the centripetal acceleration requirements of stifflimbed walking. However, even at moderate Froude numbers, limb compliance smoothes the COM trajectories, thus reducing both the impulses attributable to the collision spikes, and the centripetal acceleration requirements, effectively spreading the weight support across the stance. Collision results Results from the collision model (Fig. 5) indicate the implications of bias in front/back leg length, fore/aft mass distribution, powering strategy and phase. A realistic bias in front/back leg length (Fig. 5B) has little bearing on collisional energy losses compared with equal leg lengths. The mass bias (Fig. 5C), however, has a notable effect: the collisional energy loss due to hindfoot contact (dotted lines) is reduced, while that due to forefoot contact (broken lines) is increased, resulting in ii A B i Hypothetical powering impulse Hip Smoothed COM path Fig. 6. Hypothetical propulsive impulses consistent with collision amelioration. If the mechanism for providing a powering impulse to the centre of mass (COM) also smoothes its path (A), powering is more efficient as collision losses are reduced. This may be achieved by two mechanisms (B): (i) hip torque while the hindleg is in early stance, or (ii) hindleg extension while the hindleg is late in stance. Either, or both, would have the effect of smoothing the path of the COM during forefoot placement, thus reducing the relatively high collision losses at this instant. Both of these mechanisms would be more effective, providing upward and forward impulses, with fore hind phases of less than 5%. a net increase in collisional energy losses. If the most life-like powering strategy, of returning lost energy directly after forefoot contact (red lines), is used, total collisional energy losses are reduced at low phases (H-F H-F H). The observed range of phases (grey bar in Fig. 4D), however, remains below those predicted by any of the collision models. Collision discussion It is clear that no walking animal is actually perfectly passive nor perfectly stiff-limbed. Equally, it is clear that there are never step changes in COM direction, and so there are not infinite forces, and energy losses calculated from a passive, stiff-limbed model should not be considered accurate. However, consideration of collisions, and especially their avoidance or potential amelioration, can provide insight into the selective pressures on both footfall timing [see Ruina et al. for horse galloping (Ruina et al., 5)] and mechanisms of powering [see Kuo for bipedal walking (Kuo, )] quadrupedal walking. Collisional energy losses in our example walking quadruped (Fig. 5) are minimised at a phase of ±5% an even spacing between each hindfoot and each forefoot placement. The reason behind this is twofold: first, the velocity at each collision is minimised if, when the front foot is being placed on the ground the hips are as high as possible and, when the hindleg is being placed on the ground, the shoulders are as high as possible. With this arrangement, achieved at phases of ±5%, the smallest possible proportion of mechanical energy is in the form of kinetic energy at each foot placement. Second, the deflection of the COM path at each foot placement is evenly divided; collision losses are reduced if the COM path is deflected by two intermediate changes rather than one large and one small (consider Equations 4 6). With our dogs, however, phases are approximately 1 17% (Table 1); in horses, the bias is also in this direction, accounting for their characteristic clipclop clip-clop sound. Note that this theme is not, however, universal (see Hildebrand, 1968) for walking quadrupeds. Let us first consider the effect of powering strategy given the observation that dogs (and horses) generally walk with a phase relationship of <5%. Fig. 5 suggests that the implications of realistic fore hind leg length and mass distribution have relatively little bearing on the take-home message apparent in the fore-aft symmetrical case (Fig. 5A). That is, at phases less than 5% there is a benefit in terms of a reduction in collision energy losses (for walking at a given speed) to the powering strategy displayed in red: energy lost at hindfoot collision should not be replaced immediately; rather, the energy lost because of both hind- and forefoot collisions should be replaced directly after forefoot placement. The reason for this is as follows: with this powering strategy, at lower phases the effect of the energy lost at hindfoot placement on the overall mean speed becomes small because a relatively brief part of the step is spent at this reduced energy state. Meanwhile, the energy, and so the speed of the COM, is reduced for the instant of front foot placement, thus reducing the collisional losses because of front foot contact. Interestingly, this timing of

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