Functional asymmetry in a five-link 3D bipedal walker.

Robert D. Gregg*, Yasin Dhaher, Kevin M. Lynch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper uses a symmetrical five-link 3D biped model to computationally investigate the cause, function, and benefit of gait asymmetry. We show that for a range of mass distributions, this model has asymmetric walking patterns between the left and right legs, which is due to a phenomenon known as period-doubling bifurcation. The ground reaction forces of each leg reflect different roles, roughly corresponding to support, propulsion, and motion control as proposed by the hypothesis of functional asymmetry in human walking. These results suggest that natural mechanics could be responsible for asymmetry in able-bodied walking, rather than neurophysiological mechanisms such as leg dominance.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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