A Study to Explore Locomotion Patterns in Partial Gravity Environments 921157
The primary objectives of this study were to determine the factors that affect stability during locomotion in both lunar and martian gravity environments and to determine the criteria needed to enhance stability and traction. This study tested the effects of changing the speed of locomotion and the pattern of locomotion under three gravity conditions. The results showed that as the gravity level decreased, the amount of vertical and horizontal forces dropped significantly. The results also showed that there are some similarities across gravity levels with regard to changing the speed as well as the pattern of locomotion. In general, an increase in the speed resulted in an increase in the vertical and the horizontal forces. A change in the pattern of locomotion showed that even at reduced gravity, it will be more difficult to stop than compared to continue or start the motion.
Interestingly, the study also showed that as the gravity level decreased, the ratio of horizontal to vertical forces increased significantly. It appears that the tendency to move forward will be more in reduced gravity than compared to earth gravity. Thus, to ensure safe locomotion in reduced gravity, additional traction might be needed. Finally, selection of an appropriate traction material surface should be based on how well the ratio of horizontal to vertical forces is reduced.