Forward dynamic simulation of bipedal walking in the Japanese macaque: Investigation of causal relationships among limb kinematics, speed, and energetics of bipedal locomotion in a nonhuman primate



Japanese macaques that have been trained for monkey performances exhibit a remarkable ability to walk bipedally. In this study, we dynamically reconstructed bipedal walking of the Japanese macaque to investigate causal relationships among limb kinematics, speed, and energetics, with a view to understanding the mechanisms underlying the evolution of human bipedalism. We constructed a two-dimensional macaque musculoskeletal model consisting of nine rigid links and eight principal muscles. To generate locomotion, we used a trajectory-tracking control law, the reference trajectories of which were obtained experimentally. Using this framework, we evaluated the effects of changes in cycle duration and gait kinematics on locomotor efficiency. The energetic cost of locomotion was estimated based on the calculation of mechanical energy generated by muscles. Our results demonstrated that the mass-specific metabolic cost of transport decreased as speed increased in bipedal walking of the Japanese macaque. Furthermore, the cost of transport in bipedal walking was reduced when vertical displacement of the hip joint was virtually modified in the simulation to be more humanlike. Human vertical fluctuations in the body's center of mass actually contributed to energy savings via an inverted pendulum mechanism. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.