“Faster learners and better performers strongly adopted an ankle strategy, meaning they controlled movement,” said Arash Arami, professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. of the ankles by activating or co-activating the muscles around them. , Canada and is the senior author of a new study. This was reported in the journal
The skateboard has a motor and two wheels connected by a platform. The driver steers and balances with his feet, although some models are capable of self-balancing.
While new riders would be wise to focus on ankle movement, research by researchers in Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan also shows that the central nervous system somehow seems to like knowing only the best strategy to use.
After a brief familiarization, the volunteers relied primarily on ankle movement for a few minutes while moving the skateboard back and forth using three different leg positions.
“The process of learning how to ride a skateboard is mostly subconscious,” says Arami. “Interestingly, our central nervous system can usually figure it out without much instruction, so relax and enjoy the ride.”
The researchers suggest that ankle movements are mainly used to learn how to ride a horse because they are the joints closest to the chessboard, primates generally learn better with their hands and feet and the system. The central nervous system often tries to minimize muscle effort.
The researchers are instrumental in investigating how the central nervous system, including the neural networks in the brain and spinal cord, controls human movement.
This result has implications for the design of platforms for balance training for older adults at risk of falls and stroke survivors in rehabilitation clinics. They can also help design skis and similar equipment, such as snowboards.
The researchers are ultimately interested in using the technology to develop assistive and rehabilitative robotic systems to allow people with disabilities to regain foot movement.
“Hoverboards, as simple as they appear, help us learn how we control our lower extremities and deepen our understanding of human motor control,” says Arami.
Arami and Mohammad Shushtari, lead author and PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo, Canada, collaborated with engineers at the NTT Media Science Laboratory in Japan and the University of Science, Technology and Medicine. Royal College in England to carry out this study.