Predicting ground reaction forces of human gait using a simple bipedal spring-mass model

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Aircraft design must be lightweight and cost-efficient on the condition of aircraft certification. In addition to standard load cases, human-induced loads can occur in the aircraft interior. These are crucial for optimal design but difficult to estimate. In this study, a simple bipedal spring-mass model with roller feet predicted human-induced loads caused by human gait for use within an end-to-end design process. The prediction needed no further experimental data. Gait movement and ground reaction force (GRF) were simulated by means of two parameter constraints with easily estimable input variables (gait speed, body mass, body height). To calibrate and validate the prediction model, experiments were conducted in which 12 test persons walked in an aircraft mock-up under different conditions. Additional statistical regression models helped to compensate for bipedal model limitations. Direct regression models predicted single GRF parameters as a reference without a bipedal model. The parameter constraint with equal gait speed in experiment and simulation yielded good estimates of force maxima (error 5.3%), while equal initial GRF gave a more reliable prediction. Both parameter constraints predicted contact time very well (error 0.9%). Predictions with the bipedal model including full GRF curves were overall as reliable as the reference.


Original languageEnglish
Article number211582
Pages (from-to)211582
Number of pages1
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2022

External IDs

unpaywall 10.1098/rsos.211582
PubMed 35911193
Scopus 85135495101
Mendeley 6b20787c-0089-3881-b162-08e98035441b



  • bipedal spring-mass model, ground reaction force prediction, human gait, structural design