Joint mechanism that mimics elastic characteristics in human running

Takuya Otani*, Kenji Hashimoto, Takaya Isomichi, Masanori Sakaguchi, Yasuo Kawakami, Hun Ok Lim, Atsuo Takanishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Analysis of human running has revealed that the motion of the human leg can be modeled by a compression spring because the joints of the leg behave like a torsion spring in the stance phase. In this paper, we describe the development of a joint mechanism that mimics the elastic characteristics of the joints of the stance leg. The knee was equipped with a mechanism comprising two laminated leaf springs made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for adjusting the joint stiffness and a worm gear in order to achieve active movement. Using this mechanism, we were able to achieve joint stiffness mimicking that of a human knee joint that can be adjusted by varying the effective length of one of the laminated leaf springs. The equation proposed for calculating the joint stiffness considers the difference between the position of the fixed point of the leaf spring and the position of the rotational center of the joint. We evaluated the performance of the laminated leaf spring and the effectiveness of the proposed equation for joint stiffness. We were able to make a bipedal robot run with one leg using pelvic oscillation for storing energy produced by the resonance related to leg elasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1


  • Humanoid
  • Joint stiffness
  • Leaf spring
  • Running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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