News Articles

NavVis digitizes Deutsches Museum's shipping section

The Deutsches Museum and the young, Munich-based high-tech company NavVis present a unique digital project: the impressive and extensive section "shipping" has been fully digitized and recorded in 3D for the very first time. Visitors from around the world can now explore the exhibition online. Images, text and audio information turn the photo-realistic 3D world into an interactive experience.

Through the website, friends and fans of the Deutsches Museum can now navigate the ship hall from anywhere in the world for the very first time.

 “PCL was instrumental in allowing us to complete the project” says Dr. Suat Gedikli, Chief Software Architect at Navvis and a PCL veteran developer. “Without it, we would have had to spend enormous additional efforts to recreate all the basic components that we used in our computational pipelines” he added.

Check the attached Press…

PCL Tutorial and 3DRP-PCL Workshop at IAS 2014


We are happy to announce that we are having a PCL tutorial and a PCL-related workshop on 3D robot perception with PCL at the 13th Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) conference, which will be held in Padova and Venice on July this year.

They will be half-day events and they both will be held on July 15, 2014.

For more information, please visit the websites:


New Ocular Robotics PCL code sprint

Ocular Robotics        Open Perception

Ocular Robotics' range of RobotEye RE0x 3D Scanning LIDAR systems deliver unique capabilities in the ability to direct the attention of the scanned beam to the region of interest of the application at the resolution required by the application down to 0.01 degree increments on a moment by moment basis. Take a mobile robotics application where you may want 3 lines between zero to five degrees about the horizon for obstacle avoidance updated at 5Hz while travelling from one point to the next. When the robot arrives at its destination it may need to paint a wider region in order to interact with an object put 100, 1000, up to a maximum of 3000 lines across an elevation range of -10 degrees to +20 degrees elevation for example to give the point density required for the designated task. In fact RE0x scanners even enable the scanning of user definable rectangular regions anywhere in the 360 degree azimuth by 70 degree elevation range of the RE0x scanners.

Ocular Robotics and Open Perception plan to undertake a Code Sprint aimed at developing a simulator for the RE0x sensors to allow the…

PCL-1.7.1 released

PCL-1.7.1 has been released including these changes:

  • New pcl::io::savePNGFile() functions and pcd2png tool (deprecates organized_pcd_to_png).
  • Support for Intel Perceptual Computing SDK cameras.
  • New Dual quaternion transformation estimation algorithm.
  • Bugfixes

Get it from Github

Occipital launches Structure

Structure Sensor

While depth sensors have become very popular since the release of the Kinect, they have been mostly limited to desktop and laptops. On Tuesday Occipital announced Structure, a depth sensor specifically designed for mobile applications. The sensor is compact, has its own battery and fits nicely to an iPad.

A high-level SDK will be provided for iOS, but Structure will be hacker-friendly and opensource drivers for Android and desktop will be available. A new grabber will also be contributed to PCL to connect with the community and enable an easy integration.

You can help make this happen faster by supporting the project on Kickstarter

PCL 1.7

We are proud to announce the new PCL version 1.7.

After one year of development, there have been a lot of changes:

A more detailed change log can be found on as well as in the git log:

PCL meetups

The recent ICRA (International Conference on Robotics and Automation) research conference hosted another successful PCL tutorial on Friday, May 10. Given the fact that some of the PCL luminaries were present at the event,  this was the perfect opportunity to use the day prior to the event and hold a meeting for a generic "PCL roadmap" discussion.


Taken almost as a scene from a Cosa Nostra movie, the group talked about PCL 1.7, interoperability issues regarding the PointCloud2 format, but also the way to push forward agendas using pcl-developers@ as a forum for discussions. Decisions such as "to break" or not a part of the API have always been open for vote in PCL, and as the code base and the community continue to grow, these decisions and discussions around them are going to be increasingly more important.


Such meetings have been proven to be very beneficial in the past as well for PCL, with all sorts of different collaborations being spawn between participants, some leading to joint research publications, while others resulting in better code contributions. Given that there's a plethora of scientific events being organized each year, we thought about encouraging any developers to propose such single day PCL tutorial sessions, in order to get a chance to meet your fellow colleague developers, but more importantly your users.…

Kinect for Windows with PCL

PCL's actual grabber interface provides a smooth and convenient access to different devices and their drivers, file formats and other sources of data. The first driver that was incorporated is the OpenNI Grabber, which makes it a breeze to request data streams from OpenNI compatible cameras. The cameras that have been tested so far are the Primesense Reference Design, Microsoft Kinect for XBox and Asus Xtion Pro.

Microsofts Kinect for Windows was not compatible with PCL yet, because it is driven by the Kinect SDK which is not compatible with OpenNI.


Now there is an Open Source package available containing a dll module which functions as bridge between the Kinect SDK, OpenNI and PCL.

bridge_solution.jpg oni_recording.jpg oni_playback.jpg

Project URL:

This bridge module was developped by Tomoto S. Washio and made compatible to PCL by Michael Dingerkus. For compatibility there is a patch included to install extensions for PCL in terms of handling…

Community Resources and Repositories

Following the January 7 news item on publicly available point cloud data sets many in the PCL community have responded positively, and contributed a number of links to publicly available data and software repositories.  Based on the comments and requests of these members it is clear that there is a need for a common place for researchers to advertise publicly available data and software related to the processing of point clouds.  As a step in this direction the set of collected links has been organized and placed on the PCL media page.  The community is encouraged to contribute new links as well as to comment on best way to organize these links as to provide easy access to high-quality data for the development and comparison of new algorithms related to point cloud processing.

City Center Bremen Germany

The above image shows an example data set from the Robotic 3D Scan Repository and has been reproduced with permission from Professor Andreas Nüchter, Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH, Germany.  

PCL-ORCS - code sprint success!

Ocular Robotics        Open Perception

Pat Marion, an R&D Engineer at Kitware, has concluded his work on the joint Open Perception - Ocular Robotics code sprint.  The goal of the code sprint was to develop a pcl::Grabber driver interface for the  RE0x laser sensors and to develop visualization code capable of real-time display of point cloud data streams acquired by the grabber interface.

The pcl::RobotEyeGrabber is a new C++ class that was added to the pcl io module.  It implements the pcl::Grabber interface and provides access to point cloud data streams sent over the network by RE0x laser sensors.  A point cloud visualization application called RobotEye Viewer was developed using the RobotEyeGrabber and PCLVisualizer.  The application uses the RobotEye C++ API to send control messages to the RobotEye laser sensor and displays real-time point cloud streams acquired using the grabber interface.

The following video demonstrates the RobotEye Viewer application in action using a RE05 laser sensor:



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