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Motor Control Modeling

The research group „Multi-Level Modeling in Motor Control and Rehabilitation Robotics“ focuses on the generation and control of active biological movements. We develop computer models and simulations of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. In a multi-level approach, we consider the different hierarchical levels contributing to movement generation. This interdisciplinary approach is mainly based on biophysics, biomechanics, and computational motor control.

In this context we investigate fundamental sensorimotor control mechanisms and their dysfunction in neurological disease. A deeper understanding of dynamics, impaired control and interaction will serve as a basis for the development of functional assistive devices.

At the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research the group operates within the Section on Computational Sensomotorics and it forms part of the new regional research alliance „System Human Being“ between the University of Tübingen and the University of Stuttgart. Our goal is to link the neuroscientific expertise in Tübingen with the expertise in computer simulation at the Stuttgart Research Center for Simulation Science (SC SimTech).

Research projects


Motor control and impairment of goal directed arm movements


Functional role of decentralized control in perturbed walking


Bionic actuator design for functional assistive devices


Information entropy as a measure for control effort



Dr Jonathan Glenday
Dr Jonathan Glenday PostDoc
Motor Control Modeling
07071 29-88875 
Dr. Daniel Haeufle
Dr. Daniel Haeufle Research Group Leader
Motor Control Modeling
07071 29-88873 
 Fabio Izzi
Fabio Izzi PhD Student
Motor Control Modeling
07071 29-88875 
 Christina Pley
Christina Pley PhD Student
Motor Control Modeling
07071 29-88875 
 Julia Riede
Julia Riede
Motor Control Modeling
 Katrin Stollenmaier
Katrin Stollenmaier PhD Student
Motor Control Modeling
07071 29-88873 

Journal Articels and Conference Contributions

Schmitt, S., Günther, M., Haeufle D.F.B. (2019). The Dynamics of the Skeletal Muscle: A Systems Biophysics Perspective on Muscle Modelling with the Focus on Hill-Type Muscle Models. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (accepted).

Hammer, M., Günther, M., Haeufle D.F.B., Schmitt, S. (2019). Tailoring Anatomical Muscle Paths: A Sheath-like Solution for Muscle Routing in Musculo-Skeletal Computer Models. Mathematical Biosciences (accepted).

Wolfen, S., Walter, J., Günther, M., Haeufle D.F.B., Schmitt, S. (2018). Bioinspired Pneumatic Muscle Spring Units Mimicking the Human Motion Apparatus: Benefits for Passive Motion Range and Joint Stiffness Variation in Antagonistic Setups. In: 2018 25th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (M2VIP), 1–6. IEEE. doi:10.1109/M2VIP.2018.8600913.

Haeufle, D., Schmortte, B., Geyer, H., Müller, R., & Schmitt, S. (2018). The benefit of combining neuronal feedback and feed-forward control for robustness in step down perturbations of simulated human walking depends on the muscle function. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 2018(80).

Günther, M., Haeufle, D. F. B., & Schmitt, S. (2018). The basic mechanical structure of the skeletal muscle machinery: One model for linking microscopic and macroscopic scales. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 456, 137–167.

Driess, D., Zimmermann, H., Wolfen, S., Suissa, D., Haeufle, D., Hennes, D., Toussaint, M., Schmitt, S. (2018). Learning to Control Redundant Musculoskeletal Systems with Neural Networks and SQP: Exploiting Muscle Properties. In: ICRA 2018 - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) (pp. 6461–6468). Brisbane: IEEE.

Brown, N., Bubeck, D., Haeufle, D., Alt, W., Schmitt, S. (2017). Weekly time course of adaptation to intensive strength training – a case study. Frontiers in Physiology,

Kleinbach, C., Martynenko, O., Promies, J., Haeufle, D. F. B., Fehr, J., & Schmitt, S. (2017). Implementation and validation of the extended Hill-type muscle model with robust routing capabilities in LS-DYNA for active human body models. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 16(1), 109 []

Bayer, A., Schmitt, S., Günther, M., Haeufle, D.F.B. (2017): The influence of biophysical muscle properties on simulating fast human arm movements. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, published online [doi: 10.1080/10255842.2017.1293663]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Bäuerle, T., Steiner, J., Bremicker, L., Schmitt, S., Bechinger, C. (2016): External control strategies for self-propelled particles: optimizing navigational efficiency in the presence of limited resources.  Physical Review E 94(1) [doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.94.012617]

Ghazi-Zahedi, K., Haeufle, D.F.B., Montufar, G.F., Schmitt, S., Ay, N. (2016): Evaluating Morphological Computation in Muscle and DC-motor Driven Models of Hopping Movements. Front. Robot. AI 3(42) [ doi:10.3389/frobt.2016.00042]

Mörl, F., Siebert, T., Haeufle, D.F.B. (2015): Contraction dynamics and function of the muscle-tendon complex depend on the muscle fibre-tendon length ratio: a simulation study. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology [ doi:10.1007/s10237-015-0688-7 ]

Schmitt, S., Haeufle D.F.B. (2015): Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Biological Muscle - A Simple Model Approach. Soft Robotics , 1st ed., 134–144 , Springer [ doi:10.1007/978-3-662-44506-8_12]

Müller, R., Haeufle, D.F.B., Blickhan, R. (2015): Preparing the leg for ground contact in running: the contribution of feed-forward and visual feedback. The Journal of Experimental Biology [ doi:10.1242/jeb.113688]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Bayer, A., Schmitt, S. (2014): Hill-Type Muscle Model with Serial Damping and Eccentric Force-Velocity Relation. Journal of Biomechanics 47(6), 1531–1536 [ doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.02.009 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Wunner, G., Schmitt, S. (2014): Quantifying Control Effort of Biological and Technical Movements: An Information-Entropy-Based Approach. Physical Review E89(1), Article ID 012716 [ doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.89.012716 ]

Schmitt, S., Günther, M., Bayer, A., Rupp, T.K., Haeufle, D.F.B. (2013): Theoretical Hill-Type Muscle and Stability: Numerical Model and Application, Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 570878, 7 pages [ doi:10.1155/2013/570878 ]

Schmitt, S., Haeufle, D.F.B., Rupp, T.K., Günther, M. (2012): Hill-Type Muscles: From Virtual to Artificial Muscle. Proceedings of the 3rd GAMM Seminar on Continuums Biomechanics 2010, Nov 24-26, Freudenstadt-Lauterbad, Germany, 39-51

Seyfarth, A., Grimmer, S., Haeufle, D.F.B., Kalveram, K.T. (2012): Can Robots Help to Understand Human Locomotion? A t - Automatisierungstechnik 60(11), 653–661 [ doi:10.1524/auto.2012.1040 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Worobets, J., Wright, I., Haeufle, J., Stefanyshyn, D. (2012): Golfers do not respond to changes in shaft mass properties in a mechanically predictable way. Sports Engineering [ doi:10.1007/s12283-012-0104-9]

Günther, M., Röhrle, O., Haeufle, D.F.B., Schmitt, S. (2012): Spreading out muscle mass within a Hill-type model: a computer simulation study. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, Article ID 848630 [ doi:10.1155/2012/848630 ]

Schmitt, S., Haeufle, D.F.B., Blickhan, R., Günther, M. (2012): Nature as an engineer: one simple concept of a bio-inspired functional artificial muscle. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 7(3), Article ID 036022, 9 pages [ doi:10.1088/1748-3182/7/3/036022 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Blickhan, R., Schmitt, S. (2012): Can Quick Release Experiments Reveal the Muscle Structure? A Bionic Approach. Journal of Bionic Engineering 9(2), 211-223 [ doi:10.1016/S1672-6529(11)60115-7 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Taylor, M.D., Schmitt, S., Geyer, H. (2012): A clutched parallel elastic actuator concept: towards energy efficient powered legs in prosthetics and robotics. IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Blickhan, R., Schmitt, S. (2012): Proof-of-concept: model based bionic muscle with hyperbolic force-velocity relation. Applied Bionics and Biomechanics 9(3) [ doi:10.3233/ABB-2011-0052 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Grimmer, S., Kalveram, K.T., Seyfarth, A. (2012): Integration of intrinsic muscle properties, feed-forward and feedback signals for generating and stabilizing hopping. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 9(72), 1458-69 [ doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0694 ]

Kalveram, K.T., Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A., Grimmer, S. (2012): Energy management that generates terrain following versus apex-preserving hopping in man and machine. Biological Cybernetics 106(1), 1-13 [ doi:10.1007/s00422-012-0476-8 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Blickhan, R., Schmitt, S. (2011): Proof of concept of an artificial muscle: Theoretical model, numerical model, and hardware experiment. IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 1-6 [ doi:10.1109/ICORR.2011.5975336 ]

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Blickhan, R., Schmitt, S. (2010): Proof-of-concept: model based bionic muscle with hyperbolic force-velocity relation. Proceedings of the 1. International Conference of Applied Biomechanics and Bionics

Haeufle, D.F.B., Grimmer, S., Seyfarth, A. (2010): The role of intrinsic muscle properties for stable hopping - stability is achieved by the force - velocity relation. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 5(1), Article ID 016004, 11 pages [ doi:10.1088/1748-3182/5/1/016004 ]

Kalveram, K.T., Haeufle, D.F.B., Grimmer, S., Seyfarth, A. (2010): Energy management that generates hopping. Comparison of virtual, robotic and human bouncing. Proceedings of International Conference on Simulation, Modeling and Programming for Autonomous Robots 2010 Workshops, Nov 15-16, Darmstadt, Germany, 147-156

Kalveram, K.T., Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A. (2008): From Hopping to Walking - how the Biped Jena-Walker can Learn from the Single-Leg Marco-Hopper. CLAWAR-Advances in Mobile Robotics, 638–645

Federolf, P., von Tscharner, V., Haeufle, D.F.B., Gimpl, M., Müller, E. (2008): Vibration Exposure in Alpine Skiing and Consequences for Muscle Activation Levels. Iv edn. Meyer and Meyer Sport, Maidenhead (UK), 19–25

Book Chapters

Seyfarth, A., Grimmer, S., Haeufle, D.F.B., Maus, H.M., Peuker, F., Kalveram, K.T. (2012): Biomechanical and neuromechanical concepts for legged locomotion: Computer models and robot validation. Routledge Handbook of Motor Control and Motor Learning, 1st ed., 90–110, Abingdon, Routledge

Short Conference Contributions

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Schmitt, S. (2015): Musculo-Skeletal Models as Tools to Quantify Embodiment. ECAL 2015, York, UK

Haeufle, D.F.B. (2015): Modelling Motor control - quantifying control effort. Modelling in human movement science, University of Graz, Austria

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M, Wunner, G., Schmitt, S. (2015): Quantifying control effort with information entropy: a new method applied to complex biological movement. DPG Fürhjahrstagung, Berlin, Germany

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M, Wunner, G., Schmitt, S. (2014): Quantifying control effort of biological and technical movements: an information entropy based approach. DPG Frühjahrtagung, Dresden, Germany

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Schmitt, S. (2011): Test trilogy applied to muscle models: evaluating design concepts for artificial muscles. ISB Brussels, Belgium

Haeufle, D.F.B., Günther, M., Blickhan, R., Schmitt, S. (2010): Proof-of-concept: model based bionic muscle with hyperbolic force-velocity relation. International Conference of Applied Biomechanics and Bionics

Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A. (2009): Technische Imitation von Muskeleigenschaften ermöglicht Stabilisierung des Hüpfens. DGfB Tagung Münster, Germany

Haeufle, D.F.B., Kalveram, K T, Seyfarth, A. (2009): Technical prove that muscle properties can help to stabilize hopping gaits. ISB Cape Town, South Afrika

Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A. (2008): How activation pattern resolution affects hopping performance. Dynamic Walking Delft, Netherlands

Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A. (2008): How hopping performance is affected by temporal and spatial discretization of muscle activation. Neuro Robotics Symposium Freiburg, Germany

Haeufle, D.F.B., Seyfarth, A. (2008): Vom Hüpfen zum Rennen: Stabilisierung der vertikalen periodischen Bewegung im Modell und im Roboter. Bionik-Kongress Bremen, Germany

Principal investigator
Dr. Daniel Häufle Address

Center of Neurology
Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research 
Department Cognitive Neurology

Otfried-Müller-Str. 25
72076 Tübingen

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-88873
Fax: +49 (0)7071 29-25011