The interactions with objects in our world are possible because of physical contact. Its simulation is an indispensable yet difficult task for robotics researchers.
DeepMind has recently announced making the MuJoCo physics simulator freely available.
Image credit: MuJoCo
MuJoCo stands for Multi-Joint Dynamics with Contact. It accurately and efficiently captures the salient features of contacting objects. While other simulators sometimes prioritize stability over accuracy, this particular physics simulator platform is a second-order continuous-time simulator that closely adheres to the equations that govern our world.
Its powerful scene description contains elements for real-world robotic components like tendons, actuators, and sensors. Musculoskeletal models of humans and animals are also supported. They capture the complexity of biological muscles and allow to correctly describe effects in the joints.