Fundamental limits on muscle-actuated locomotor tasks

Year of award: 2011


  • Dr Jim Usherwood

    Royal Veterinary College

Project summary

Jim's fellowship is exploring the mechanical and physiological costs and constraints imposed on animal locomotion: why we find walking and running so tiring; why we cannot run faser or further; and why we use more flexed leg postures when small or when running. The approach taken is to make small additions to the most reductionist models of economic gaits, and to test the model predictions across species, through development, and with mechanical manipulations such as hyergravity. For this, Jim's lab has developed a four metre animal centrifuge and force-sensing rodent wheel.