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J Biomech. 1989;22(1):33-41.

Simulation of quadrupedal locomotion using a rigid body model.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


Locomotion of the horse is simulated using a mathematical model based on rigid body dynamics. A general method to generate the equations of motion for a two-dimensional rigid body model with an arbitrary number of hinge joints is presented and a numerical solution method, restricted to tree-structured models, is described. Joint movements originating from muscular forces or moments are simulated, but the method also allows that parts of the model follow strictly the pattern of kinematic data. Moment-generators with first-order linear feedback were used as a rotational muscle-equivalent. Ground-hoof interaction forces are approximated by a viscoelastic model and pseudo-Coulomb friction in vertical and horizontal directions respectively. Results of model simulations are compared to experimentally recorded data. Subsequently, adjustments are made to improve the agreement between simulation and experimental results.

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