Studying our zigzags

Studying the zigzag

Did you know some folks study the physics of walking?

Gilks and Hague have been studying the Active Walking Model and noticed a flaw.

(Submitted on 8 Dec 2008)

Abstract: We extend the active walker model to address the formation of paths on gradients, which have been observed to have a zigzag form. Our extension includes a new rule to simulate an aversion to falling, which prohibits direct descent or ascent on steep inclines.

Yes. The zigzag is now included in the Active Walking Model.

While zigzagging along the Internet, I noticed this grand addition to physics at Paul Kedrowky’s blog:

I’m fascinated by active walking models — how unconscious patterns emerge from people’s trail-use. There are many famous examples, some anecdotal, some research-driven (here and here), but they all share the characteristic patterns, with people demonstrating walking inertia, following paths of least resistance, etc. There, of course, some differences when walking on gradients.

People tend to want to walk in zigzags…

Walking in zigzags