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New model shows importance of feet, toes in body balance

Professor Hooshang HemamiResearch by Hooshang Hemami, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and alumnus Laura Humphrey (PhD, 2009) was recently featured on the Ohio State Research news website.

Researchers are using a new model to learn more about how toe strength can determine how far people can lean while keeping their balance.

The results could help in building robotic body parts that will closely imitate human movement, and might lead to a new generation of advanced prosthetics.

Hooshang Hemami, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State University built a complex computational model of the human foot to look at the role of the feet and toes in determining the body’s movement and balance.

Hemami and a colleague, Laura Humphrey (ECE 2009), designed a computer model of a body and foot which assigned four different sections to represent different parts of the foot, while assigning the body one section. This allowed Hemami and Humphrey to focus primarily on the pressure of the feet and toes as they manipulated the forward motion of the body.
Hemami and Humphrey’s work was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Biomechanics. The researchers performed simulations of static balance and forward leaning in the computer-modeled body, and compared the results to those observed in the scientific literature.

Read the complete article online here.