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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2015, Article ID 631354, 16 pages
Research Article

A Critical Characteristic in the Transverse Galloping Pattern

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 5 June 2014; Revised 13 January 2015; Accepted 14 January 2015

Academic Editor: Laurence Cheze

Copyright © 2015 Xiaohui Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transverse gallop is a common gait used by a large number of quadrupeds. This paper employs the simplified dimensionless quadrupedal model to discuss the underlying mechanism of the transverse galloping pattern. The model is studied at different running speeds and different values of leg stiffness, respectively. If the horizontal running speed reaches up to a critical value at a fixed leg stiffness, or if the leg stiffness reaches up to a critical value at a fixed horizontal speed, a key property would emerge which greatly reduces the overall mechanical forces of the dynamic system in a proper range of initial pitch angular velocities. Besides, for each horizontal speed, there is an optimal stiffness of legs that can reduce both the mechanical loads and the metabolic cost of transport. Furthermore, different body proportions and landing distance lags of a pair of legs are studied in the transverse gallop. We find that quadrupeds with longer length of legs compared with the length of the body are more suitable to employ the transverse galloping pattern, and the landing distance lag of a pair of legs could reduce the cost of transport and the locomotion frequency.