Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Alan P Bowling


Legged robotic systems undergo a large number of impacts during walking or running tasks. These impacts occur over the surface of contact between the feet and the ground. If a rigid body assumption is held, these impacts can be analyzed by selecting a certain number of points on the impacting bodies. A minimum of three points are required for analyzing a surface contact on a plane. However, using a minimum number of points for analyzing surface impact would require an additional analysis for appropriately selecting these points. On the other hand, if a large number of evenly distributed impact points are used for the analysis, there wouldn't be a need for this additional analysis. However, as more and more impact points are added, the impact analysis problem can become indeterminate if the number of constraint forces exceed the number of degrees of freedom of the system. This work provides a framework for the analysis of indeterminate impacts while using a large number impact points on the surface of the foot. A comparison is presented in this work between the results obtained by selecting varying number of points for impact analysis. This essentially shows that post-impact behavior of the impacting bodies are independent of the number of points used for the impact analysis. Finally, this framework has also been implemented in a model of a bipedal robotic system undergoing a walking task.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington