Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics

Modeling Gaits of Cerebral Palsy Patients by Means of Optimal Control Techniques

Kathrin Hatz, Martin FelisJohannes SchlöderKatja Mombaur - IWR

Sebastian Wolf - Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Schlierbach, Heidelberg University

The goal of this project is to gain insight into the complexity of gaits of patients affected by cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy refers to a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination.

  In this project, we are developing dynamical models of the human body - including rigid body dynamics as well as muscles - which take into account particular properties of walking motions of cerebral palsy patients (e.g. special forms of foot contact, asymmetries of gait, strong 3D effects). It is assumed that every patients gait is the result of an optimization process subject to his personal capabilities. Efficient mathematical methods for identifying optimality in the recorded motion are developed and applied in this project.

  The project is a collaboration with Dr. Sebastian Wolf of the gait analysis laboratory of the Orthopedic University Hospital Heidelberg who is interested in the study of normal and pathological gait and who has performed motion capture experiments on several cerebral palsy patients.


K. Mombaur (2009): Using optimization to create self-stable human-like running, Robotica, Vol. 27, p. 321-330, published online June 2008.

K. Mombaur; A. Truong; J.P. Laumond (2009): Identifying the objectives of human path generation, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 12, No. 2-1.

K. Hatz (2008): Estimating Parameters in Optimal Control Problems, Diplomarbeit, Universität Heidelberg, 2008.

D. Patikas; S. Wolf; K. Mund; P. Armbrust; W. Schuster; L. Döderlein: Effects of a Postoperative Strength-Training Program on the Walking Ability of Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 87, Issue 5, Pages 619-626.

D. Patikas; S. Wolf; W. Schuster; P. Armbrust; T. Dreher; L. Döderlein (2007): Electromyographic patterns in children with cerebral palsy: do they change after surgery?, Gait & posture; 26(3): 362-71.

K. Mombaur,
Last Update: 19.10.2011 - 16:03

The photographs in the header of this webpage have been taken at the Musee de l'Automate in Souillac, France