This post is from the article ‘Computer Simulations of a Humanoid Robot Capable of Walking Like Fashion Models’ by Jimmy Or.
Conventional humanoid robots are unable to exhibit the kind of rolling movements at the waist and the body trunk stereo typically associated with the walking style of adult females. For example, a conventional robot cannot perform the walk known as “the catwalk” commonly seen in fashion shows. We developed a control method that allows a realistically simulated adult-size humanoid robot to exhibit a stable dynamic walk with features (such as catwalk, rolling trunk and waist motions, knee stretch walking, etc.) commonly exhibited by fashion models. Our method has the potential to be used in feminized robots in the fashion, advertisement and entertainment industries.
Fig1. Snapshots of two human models. Rather than walking with a straight upright posture in the upper body as commonly seen in conventional humanoid robots, each model bends her torso so that the shoulder-line tilts in opposite orientation to the waist-line. Depending on the person and the situation, the amount of tilting varies.
Walking Styles of Fashion Models
Fashion models walk in different ways and the style of walking depends on the models as well as the general tones of the shows. Nevertheless, a combination of the following features are commonly observed:
1) Forward-facing head.
2) Rotation of the waist on the frontal plane.
3) Tilt of the shoulder-line in slightly opposite orientation to the waist-line (see Fig. 1).
4) Walking with the upper torso leaning back slightly so that the legs move forward before the rest of the body.
5) Walking with stretched knees, slightly bent during the swing phase.
6) Walking with the toes pointed straight ahead.
7) Catwalk: At each step, feet are placed in one line, one in front of the other, instead of in two parallel lines.
8) Walking with still or slight swinging of the arms.
9) Swinging the arms in opposition to the legs.
10) Occasionally exhibiting abnormally high elevation of the feet and exaggerated length of their strides.
In order for the robot to walk like a model, the ability to laterally bend the body trunk is required. To generate the body shape which can exhibit Features 1 to 3, a spinal column with three roll-axis joints placed in a serial manner is needed.
In this section, we present computer simulations of model like walking. Five different walking styles are attempted. In the first three simulations, the predetermined trajectories for the hands, knees and the feet are the same. However, the amount of desirable bending of the roll-axis joint in the body trunk varies. In the fourth simulation, the feet are preset to reach higher elevations to imitate the movements of some models. As for the fifth simulation, both the step length and the lateral movements for the feet are increased as well. In all simulations, the robot is required to walk for ten steps (five walk cycles).
Fig. 2. Snapshots of Walking Style 1 (front view). Note that the simulated robot is able to perform catwalk by placing one foot in front of the other.