Philip Holmes

Princeton, NJ, 08544-5263, Princeton, USA
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University


Proctor J. L., Holmes P. J.
We study turning strategies in low-dimensional models of legged locomotion in the horizontal plane. Since the constraints due to foot placement switch from stride to stride, these models are piecewise-holonomic, and this can cause stride-to-stride changes in angular momentum and in the ratio of rotational to translational kinetic energy. Using phase plane analyses and parameter studies based on experimental observations of insects, we investigate how these changes can be harnessed to produce rapid turns, and compare the results with dynamical cockroach data. Qualitative similarities between the model and insect data suggest general strategies that could be implemented in legged robots.
Keywords: biomechanics, hybrid dynamical system, insect locomotion, passive stability, piecewise holonomy, robotics, turning, transient instability
Citation: Proctor J. L., Holmes P. J.,  Steering by Transient Destabilization in Piecewise-Holonomic Models of Legged Locomotion, Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, 2008, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 267-282
Seipel J., Holmes P. J.
A simple model for clock-actuated legged locomotion
2007, vol. 12, no. 5, pp.  502-520
The spring-loaded inverted pendulum (SLIP) model describes well the steady-state center-of-mass motions of a diverse range of walking and running animals and robots. Here we ask whether the SLIP model can also explain the dynamic stability of these gaits, and we find that it cannot do so in many physically-relevant parameter ranges. We develop an actuated, lossy, clock-torqued SLIP, or CT-SLIP, with more realistic hip-motor torque inputs, that can capture the robust stability properties observed in most animals and some legged robots. Variations of CT-SLIP at a similar level of detail and complexity may also be appropriate for capturing the whole-system center-of-mass dynamics of locomotion of legged animals and robots varying widely in size and morphology. This paper contributes to a broader program to develop mathematical models, at varied levels of detail, that capture the dynamics of integrated organismal systems exhibiting integrated whole-body motion.
Keywords: robotics, animal locomotion, biomechanics, stability
Citation: Seipel J., Holmes P. J.,  A simple model for clock-actuated legged locomotion, Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, 2007, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 502-520
Ghigliazza R. M., Holmes P. J.
We develop and analyze a single-degree-of-freedom model for multilegged locomotion in the horizontal (ground) plane. The model is a hybrid dynamical system incorporating rudimentary motoneuronal activation and agonist-antagonist Hill-type muscle pairs that drive a point mass body along a line. Composition of the smooth stance phase dynamics with various discrete lift-off and touch-down protocols result in Poincaré stride-to-stride maps, and our extreme simplification of the full dynamics permits relatively complete phase plane analysis of existence and stability of periodic gaits. We use these to perform parameter studies that provide guidelines for the construction of stable periodic orbits with appropriate force and velocity signatures.
Keywords: hybrid dynamical systems, insect gaits, muscle models, periodic orbits, phase plane analysis, stability
Citation: Ghigliazza R. M., Holmes P. J.,  Towards a neuromechanical model for insect locomotion: hybrid dynamical systems , Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, 2005, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 193-225
DOI: 10.1070/RD2005v010n02ABEH000311
Coleman M. J., Holmes P. J.
We discuss the dynamics of a piecewise holonomic mechanical system: a discrete sister to the classical non-holonomically constrained Chaplygin sleigh. A slotted rigid body moves in the plane subject to a sequence of pegs intermittently placed and sliding freely along the slot; motions are smooth and holonomic except at instants of peg insertion. We derive a return map and analyze stability of constant-speed straight-line motions: they are asymptotically stable if the mass center is in front of the center of the slot, and unstable if it lies behind the slot; if it lies between center and rear of the slot, stability depends subtly on slot length and radius of gyration. As slot length vanishes, the system inherits the eigenvalues of the Chaplygin sleigh while remaining piecewise holonomic. We compare the dynamics of both systems, and observe that the discrete skate exhibits a richer range of behaviors, including coexistence of stable forward and backward motions.
Citation: Coleman M. J., Holmes P. J.,  Motions and stability of a piecewise holonomic system: the discrete Chaplygin sleigh, Regular and Chaotic Dynamics, 1999, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 55-77

Back to the list