SFU Locomotion Lab

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
What the facility does

Research on legged locomotion and its applications

Areas of expertise

Research in the SFU Locomotion Lab focuses on understanding the fundamental principles that underlie the physiology of legged locomotion, as well as on the application of these principles to improve human health. We use a combination of mathematical modelling and empirical experimentation, with the latter involving techniques from biomechanics, energetics and neurophysiology. At a fundamental level, a more complete understanding of legged locomotion provides insight into the behaviour, ecology and evolution of animals. At a more applied level, understanding locomotion is useful in the design of legged robots or energy-harvesting devices. A better understanding of the mechanics, energetics and neural control of human locomotion has many clinical applications.

Research services

Computational modelling of locomotion, measurement of metabolic energy use, gait parameters and ground reaction forces during walking, modification of energy use during walking, single belt and split belt treadmill walking 

Sectors of application
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
Knee exoskeletonEnergy harvesting from walking
3D motion capture systemRecording of movement of objects and people
Split belt treadmillTreadmill with separate belts for each leg, capable of running each belt at a different speed setting
Series elastic actuatorDevice with spring between motor and actuator, used to apply forces with high accuracy and control