SFU Locomotion Lab

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

Research on legged locomotion and its applications

Area(s) 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)

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

Knee exoskeleton

Energy harvesting from walking

3D motion capture system

Recording of movement of objects and people

Split belt treadmill

Treadmill with separate belts for each leg, capable of running each belt at a different speed setting

Series elastic actuator

Device with spring between motor and actuator, used to apply forces with high accuracy and control

Title

URL

U.S. military takes SFU power-generating project for a test walk

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/us-military-takes-sfu-power-generating-project-for-a-test-walk/article30908692/

Power harvesting “Exosuit” (starts at 36:30 – 42:10)

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/725557827825

For kangaroos, tail becomes a fifth leg

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/science/for-kangaroos-tail-becomes-a-fifth-leg.html

TEDxJuanDeFuca - Max Donelan - Harvesting human energy

https://youtu.be/ritG7pcIf2I

Biomechanical energy harvester

https://youtu.be/M4GBBgNC38U

You'd have to be smart to walk this lazy... and people are

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/cp-yht090315.php

Humans are hard-wired for laziness, study finds

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/humans-are-hard-wired-to-expend-as-little-energy-as-possible-study-finds/article26334952/

Born to be lazy? How to change your walk to burn calories faster

http://www.today.com/health/born-be-lazy-how-change-your-walk-burn-calories-faster-t43171

Lab rat – cruise control

http://runningmagazine.ca/lab-rat-cruise-control/

T. Rex plodded like an elephant, nerve study says

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/06/100629-science-dinosaurs-t-rex-nerves-elephants/

No power for cellphone? Just walk a few blocks

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=292922

Harnessing human energy for medical good

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/07/AR2008020702051.html