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Strategies of locomotor collision avoidance

Abstract : Collision avoidance during locomotion can be achieved by a variety of strategies. While in some situations only a single trajectory will successfully avoid impact, in many cases several different strategies are possible. Locomotor experiments in the presence of static boundary conditions have suggested that the choice of an appropriate trajectory is based on a maximum-smoothness strategy. Here we analyzed locomotor trajectories of subjects avoiding collision with another human crossing their path orthogonally. In such a case, changing walking direction while keeping speed or keeping walking direction while changing speed would be two extremes of solving the problem. Our participants clearly favored changing their walking speed while keeping the path on a straight line between start and goal. To interpret this result, we calculated the costs of the chosen trajectories in terms of a smoothness-maximization criterion and simulated the trajectories with a computational model. Data analysis together with model simulation showed that the experimentally chosen trajectory to avoid collision with a moving human is not the optimally smooth solution. However, even though the trajectory is not globally smooth, it was still locally smooth. Modeling further confirmed that, in presence of the moving human, there is always a trajectory that would be smoother but would deviate from the straight line. We therefore conclude that the maximum smoothness strategy previously suggested for static environments no longer holds for locomotor path planning and execution in dynamically changing environments.
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Patrizia Basili, Murat Sağlam, Thibault Kruse, Markus Huber, Alexandra Kirsch, et al.. Strategies of locomotor collision avoidance. Gait and Posture, Elsevier, 2013, 37 (3), pp.385 - 390. ⟨10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.08.003⟩. ⟨hal-01684297⟩

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