A 3D ellipsoidal volumetric foot–ground contact model for forward dynamics
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Foot–ground contact models are an important part of forward dynamic biomechanic models, particularly those used to model gait, and have many challenges associated with them. Contact models can dramatically increase the complexity of the multibody system equations, especially if the contact surface is relatively large or conforming. Since foot–ground contact has a large potential contact area, creating a computationally efficient model is challenging. This is particularly problematic in predictive simulations, which may determine optimal performance by running a model simulation thousands of times. An ideal contact model must find a balance between accuracy for large, conforming surfaces, and computational efficiency.Volumetric contact modelling is explored as a computationally efficient model for foot–ground contact. Previous foot models have used volumetric contact before, but were limited to 2D motion and approximated the surfaces as spheres or 2D shapes. The model presented here improves on current work by using ellipsoid contact geometry and considering 3D motion and geometry. A gait experiment was used to parametrise and validate the model. The model ran over 100 times faster than real-time (in an inverse simulation at 128 fps) and matched experimental normal force and centre of pressure location with less than 7% root-mean-square error.In most gait studies, only the net reaction forces, centre of pressure, and body motions are recorded and used to identify parameters. In this study, contact pressure was also recorded and used as a part of the identification, which was found to increase parameter optimisation time from 10 to 164 s (due to the additional time needed to calculate the pressure distribution) but helped the results converge to a more realistic model. The model matched experimental pressures with 33–45% root-mean-square error, though some of this was due to measurement errors.The same parametrisation was done with friction included in the foot model. It was determined that the velocity-based friction model that was used was inappropriate for use in an inverse-dynamics simulation. Attempting to optimise the model to match experimental friction resulted in a poor match to the experimental friction forces, inaccurate values for the coefficient of friction, and a poorer match to the experimental normal force.
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Peter Brown, John McPhee (2018). A 3D ellipsoidal volumetric foot–ground contact model for forward dynamics. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13428