An objective of this study is to simulate the backward walking motion of a full-body digital human model. The model consists of 55 degree of freedom – 6 degrees of freedom for global translation and rotation and 49 degrees of freedom representing the kinematics of the entire body. The resultant action of all the muscles at a joint is represented by the torque for each degree of freedom. The torques and angles at a joint are treated as unknowns in the optimization problem. The B-spline interpolation is used to represent the time histories of the joint angles and the well-established robotics formulation of the Denavit-Hartenberg method is used for kinematics analysis of the mechanical system. The recursive Lagrangian formulation is used to develop the equations of motion, and was chosen because of its known computational efficiency. The backwards walking problem is formulated as a nonlinear optimization problem. The control points of the B-splines for the joint angle profiles are treated as the design variables. For the performance measure, total dynamic effort that is represented as the integral of the sum of the squares of all the joint torques is minimized using a sequential quadratic programming algorithm. The solution is simulated in the Santos™ environment. Results of the optimization problem are the torque and joint angle profiles. The torques at the key joints and the ground reaction forces are compared to those for the forward walk in order to study the differences between the two walking patterns. Simulation results are approximately validated with the experimental data which is motion captured in the VSR Lab at the University of Iowa.

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