# A Three Dimensional Spring-Mass Model for Bipedal Locomotion and Prosthetic Leg Design

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## Abstract

Humans are efficient at moving due to their exceptional mastery of bipedal locomotion. Several models have been made that attempt to model the motion of the centre of mass with a spring-mass system with various degree of success. For example, a two dimensional model tracks the height of the centre of mass well and a three dimensional model explains the normal force exerted on the ground.

In this report a three dimensional model is constructed to describe the motion of the centre of mass, with the purpose to determine the spring constant and the rest length in a simple prosthetic leg. The research question is: can a three dimensional spring-mass model accurately track the centre of mass and can this be used to determine the optimal properties of the spring of a simple prosthetic leg?

The spring mass model consists of two springs connected to the ground and the centre of mass. The springs do not exert a force on the centre of mass if they are extended. The model incorporates steps by moving the ground connection points instantaneously over fixed points on a rail. The model can be used in two distinct ways. The first generates a periodic trajectory by finding the optimal initial positions y_{0} and z_{0} (PPFA) and the second finds the optimal spring parameters k and u to fit a data set (DFA). The optimal conditions are found by discretizing the parameter space and using an iterative process. The space around the best parameters becomes the parameter space for the next iteration.

The PPFA shows that the initial lateral displacement is nearly constant with respect to the spring constant when the rest length is chosen such that the centre of mass is at constant height if the model is stationary. The PPFA also shows that there are two distinct y-trajectories possible for walking. Running, however, has only one trajectory. Several versions of the model are fit to the data: only discretised step widths, discretised step widths and a x_{0}-offset, and distinct legs. There is not much difference between these models. The x_{0}-offset is only Δs = -0.02m confirming that the position of the feet does align with the extreme values of the y- and z-position. The model fits the general characteristics well but fine details in the motion are lost. Future research should investigate how cumbersome these deviations of the data are perceived by people using a simple prosthetic.