A system of inverted nonsmooth pendula: modelling an elderly person stepping over an obstacle

Stiefenhofer, Pascal, Giesl, Peter and Wagner, Heiko (2019) A system of inverted nonsmooth pendula: modelling an elderly person stepping over an obstacle. Nonlinear Analysis and Differential Equations, 7 (1). pp. 17-32. ISSN 2367-4814

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Abstract

We derive a mechanical model of human motion where an elderly person decides to step over an obstacle rather than avoiding it. Such a decision may be deliberate or
forced due to a sudden appearing obstacle in his/her way. The model is represented by a nonautonomous system of ordinary differential equations with discontinuous right hand side. We provide a notion of lateral stability. It is shown that increasing the angle between legs increases stability linearly. This implies that an individual reduces the risk of falling due to stepping over an obstacle by increasing the angle between legs.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Research Centres and Groups: Analysis and Partial Differential Equations Research Group
Depositing User: Alice Jackson
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 11:18
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 15:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83785

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