Google’s MuJoCo 3 simulator, born from collaborative efforts between Google DeepMind, Brax, and Everyday Robots, signifies a major stride in the realm of robotics simulation. Originally acquired by Google DeepMind over two years ago, MuJoCo’s open-source version was released in May 2022, and MuJoCo 3 introduces significant enhancements, reflecting a unified approach in robotics simulation development.

A key feature of MuJoCo 3 is its support for accelerated simulation through the MuJoCo XLA (MJX) module, allowing users to run simulations at high speeds on Google Cloud TPU or other accelerator hardware. This capability is particularly advantageous for data-intensive learning methodologies like reinforcement learning and optimization for model predictive control.

MuJoCo 3 facilitates smoother transitions for Python users between running simulations on CPU, GPU, or TPU. The MJX API closely mirrors MuJoCo, ensuring compatibility with existing data models and simulation algorithms. The addition of support for collision geometries defined via signed distance functions (SDFs) expands the versatility of MuJoCo 3, enabling the creation of new primitives with enhanced collision detection efficiency.

The simulator’s ability to detect and solve for independent “contact islands” in complex scenes, along with the introduction of a thread-pool API for parallelization, significantly improves computational efficiency. Furthermore, MuJoCo 3’s incorporation of collision geometries via SDFs allows for more intricate and customizable shapes, reducing the computational cost of collision detection.

MuJoCo’s evolution (now in its third iteration) underscores its importance in the robotics research community. Originally a MuJoCo customer, DeepMind’s decision to acquire and subsequently open-source the technology has contributed to advancing realistic physics engines and easing the challenges of developing complex robotics systems.

The MuJoCo 3 release stands as a testament to ongoing innovation in the realm of robotics simulation, with potential applications in various fields of research and development. Learn about all the changes in MuJoCo 3 on the release page and in its documentation.

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