Golden Gait: An Optimization Theory Perspective on Human and Humanoid Walking

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Human walking is a complex task which includes hundreds of muscles, bones and joints working together to deliver harmonic movements with the need of finding equilibrium between moving forward and maintaining stability. Many different computational approaches have been used to explain human walking mechanisms, from pendular model to fractal approaches. A new perspective can be gained from using the principles developed in the field of Optimization theory and in particularly the branch of Game Theory. In particular we provide a new insight into human walking showing as the trade-off between advancement and equilibrium managed during walking has the same solution of the Ultimatum game, one of the most famous paradigms of game theory, and this solution is the golden ratio. The golden ratio is an irrational number that was found in many biological and natural systems self-organized in a harmonic, asymmetric, and fractal structure. Recently, the golden ratio has also been found as the equilibrium point between two players involved into the Ultimatum Game. It has been suggested that this result can be due to the fact that the golden ratio is perceived as the fairest asymmetric solution by the two players. The golden ratio is also the most common proportion between stance and swing phase of human walking. This approach may explain the importance of harmony in human walking, and provide new perspectives for developing quantitative assessment of human walking, efficient humanoid robotic walkers, and effective neurorobots for rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69
JournalFrontiers in Neurorobotics
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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