Biological Aspects of Locomotion

  • Teresa Zielinska
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 467)


Since antiquity people have been fascinated by legged locomotion. This fascination has been reflected in mythology. According to the books of Iliad, written by Homer (VIII BC), one of the Greek gods built diverse walking devices. Some of them were human-like. In the old scripts from India we can find descriptions of mechanical elephants. In Egyptian pyramids archaeologists identified a wooden dog (toy) dated from the XX century BC. Mimicking human or animal motion started with the decoration of water organs and water clocks with moving figures. The precursor of the inventors of this type of devices was Ctesibius, who worked in Alexandria circa 270 BC. His student, Philo of Byzantium, wrote (circa 200 BC) the Mechanical Collection in which he described his teacher’s inventions. The continuation of these works can be found in Hero’s of Alexandra (I century AD): Treatise on hydraulics, Treatise on pneumatics, and Treatise on mechanics.


Froude Number Body Cavity Biological Aspect Duty Factor Ghost Crab 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Zielinska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Power and Mechanical EngineeringWarsaw University of TechnologyWarsawPoland

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