Neuromuscular Control Models of Human Locomotion

  • Hartmut GeyerEmail author
  • André Seyfarth
Reference work entry


Neuromuscular control models describe human locomotion by combining kinematic chain representations of the human skeleton with models of muscle-tendon actuators and control architectures mimicking neural circuits. The models have originally been developed to better understand human motor control. However, over the past two decades, they have reached a level of sophistication that invites their application in the control of robotic limbs and humanoid robots. The application opportunities motivate this overview chapter on human neuromuscular models. First, the key elements of the human locomotion system are introduced from an engineering perspective, providing physiological context and examples of model implementations. The elements are then combined, and the overall control topology of human neuromuscular models is discussed. Finally, the evolution of specific control hypotheses and architectures is highlighted, including architectures with a central pattern network at the core and architectures bypassing it. The chapter closes with suggestions for future directions that will likely improve the utility of neuromuscular models and with examples of their application in the control of robotic systems.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robotics InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Locomotion Laboratory, Institute of Sport ScienceTechnical University of DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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