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Physics LibreTexts

5.7: Walking and Tripping

  • Page ID
    17744
  • For humans walking is an act of moving in and out of metastable equilibrium.

    1. You lean forward and your center of gravity passes the tipping point, which moves you out of metastable equilibrium.
    2. You take a step to move your support base back underneath your center of gravity, putting you back into metastable equilibrium.
    3. Repeat.

    When your foot doesn’t correctly move forward then you remain out of metastable equilibrium and fall over. We call that process tripping. Check you these AI simulations of creature that employ bipedal motion learning how to walk, and tripping along the way.

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    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/bodyphysics/?p=1178

    To see what AI algorithms can do when given a real physical body to experiment with, check out these robots.