The third part in our series of posts about new features in Gazebo 3.0 covers breakable joints.
Gazebo now supports breakable joints through the use of the BreakableJointPlugin attached to a force-torque sensor on the desired joint. A breaking force can be specified in the xml parameters for the plugin, and the plugin will detach the joint when the force-torque sensor detects a force magnitude that exceeds the threshold.
An example model named breakable_test has been added to the gazebo_models database. The example consists of an array of small blocks connected to the world with breakable joints. The blocks can be dislodged from the wall through collisions with heavy objects or by increasing gravity.