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GRASP Special Seminar: Nidhi Seethapathi, Ohio State University, “Transients, Variability, Stability, and Energy in Human Locomotion”

July 17, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Most research in human locomotion is limited to steady-state and constant-speed conditions. However, moving about in everyday life requires us to constantly adapt our locomotion strategies in response to intrinsic noise-like transients, uncertainties and external environmental irregularities. In this talk, I will discuss our work on understanding and predicting such adaptive locomotion behaviors in three separate studies: I. The energetics of walking while changing speeds, II. control strategies for running stably in the presence of noise-like deviations and III. Energetics and stability of learning to walk asymmetrically. In part I, we find that the metabolic cost of walking with varying speeds is significant and predicts short-distance overground walking behavior in non-amputees and amputees. In part II, we show that relatively small variability during constant-speed running contains information about stability and control. And such a controller, inferred from variability in human data, can control a simple biped model for perturbations ten times larger than the range from which it was derived. And in part III, by combining energy-optimality and stability of a simple biped model, we predict long-term and short-term adaptations, respectively, observed in split-belt walking behavior.


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Nidhi Seethapathi recently defended her PhD thesis in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University (PhD expected, Summer 2018). During her PhD, she worked with Manoj Srinivasan on building normative and predictive models of the energetics and stability of human locomotion. She did both human subject experiments and computational modeling as a part of her doctoral work. The models she uses are either data-driven or forward models based on optimality principles. Her future research interests include building predictive models of human/animal motor learning in the presence of noise and uncertainty. She received a Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Award and Ohio State FAST fellowship. Nidhi’s work has been featured in the popular press, including WebMD, the Telegraph, CBSNews, etc. She received a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute in Mumbai, India.


July 17, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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