One of the applications I am interested in for my own research is teaching robots to perform complex assembly tasks. To do this, I use a magnetic simulation of a set of magnetic blocks.
A colleague of mine recently updated our (fairly crude) simulation to use a realistic model of the magnetic forces involved in the mating of these different plastic pieces, which is available on GitHub here as a Gazebo plugin.
Here’s a video showing the magnetic simulation in action:
I put this together using our simulation of the WAM arm running a JTNS controller. I am teleoperating the simulation with a Razer Hydra.