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I don't expect the gains to work for both the real hardware and its simulation because I doubt that the dynamics are the same. They might be qualitatively similar, but things like system friction and damping are hard to get right in simulation (if they are simulated at all). In my experience, gains can and will be considerably different.

Also, some hardware platforms implement controllers on the actuators, not the joints. Most Gazebo robot simulations I know of have no notion of actuators, so at least there's a scaling factor to apply between joint and actuator controllers. This is assuming simple reducers, if you have more complex transmissions then things get more hairy.

In the Community Forum 2014 ROS-Industrial, people COMAU (manufacturer of robots) showed GAZEBO model of one of his robot. The model runs same algorithms and parameters that control real robot, so you can reproduce the behavior of the real robot in the gazebo.

@jalfonso Which parameters are you referring to here?. I don't think the statement applies to the controller gains.