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PCL-ORCS kickstart!

Ocular Robotics Open Perception

The joint Open Perception-Ocular Robotics code sprint is ready to start! The sprint will cover an efficient pcl::Grabber driver interface for the RE0x laser sensors, as well as various enhancements to our PCL visualization libraries to be able to handle both larger datasets as well as process data packets coming from these sensors faster. The developer working on the sprint is Pat Marion from Kitware. Pat is already a seasoned PCL coder and has contributed significantly to the iOS and Android port of PCL (see this for more information) and the PCL plugin for ParaView.

We would like to thank all the other candidates for their excellent proposals! We already started following up with each of them individually, as there are many more sprints to come!


PCL-VLCS kickstart!

Velodyne Open Perception

PCL-VLCS is ready to start! The sprint will cover a Plug-n-Play interface for the Velodyne HDL series to make these sensors much easier to use and the high-density point clouds easily accessible by developers. The developers working on the sprint are Keven Ring from MITRE and Kuk Cho from Korea Institute of Industrial Technology.

We would like to thank all the other candidates for their excellent proposals! We already started following up with each of them individually, as there are many more sprints to come!

[Note: the new blogging page for VLCS will be up within the next few days at]

Velodyne code sprint

Velodyne Open Perception

Project Description & Motivation: Velodyne's HDL-32 LiDAR sensor features a 360° unmatched vertical field of view with a range of 100 meters and typical accuracy of ±2 cm. Rotating at 10 Hz, this sensor produces upwards of 700,000 points per second over an Ethernet connection in UDP packets from 32 individual lasers and sources. GPS information is also be included and used for clock synchronization. Capturing and converting these packets into usable points is something that, until now, customers in academia and industry, have done themselves with code integrated from their own research projects. Velodyne wishes to significantly expand the reach and audience for the HDL sensor products by making the these sensors Plug-n-Play -- attach the sensor to a system, load the drivers, and capture point clouds in PCL formats within minutes - thereby leveraging the significant and growing availability of PCL viewers.

The most apt description of this sprint is that we want to make the HDL series into the "Kinect- equivalent" for LiDAR systems -- a Plug-n-Play interface will make these sensors much easier to use and the high-density point clouds easily accessible by developers. The advantages…

Ocular Robotics code sprint

Open Perception

It is our immense pleasure to announce the beginning of a new PCL Code Sprint sponsored by Ocular Robotics: PCL-ORCS!

Ocular Robotics is looking for talented contributors that are willing to develop an efficient pcl::Grabber driver interface for the RE0x laser sensors.

PCL-ORCS will run for 3 months during this fall. Potential candidates should submit the following information to

  • a brief resume
  • a list of existing PCL contributions (if any)
  • a list of projects (emphasis on open source projects please) that they contributed to in the past

This project requires good C++ programming skills, knowledge of PCL internals and a basic understanding of laser sensors and 3D visualization.

Fraunhofer IPM partnership

Fraunhofer IPM Open Perception

We are happy to announce that the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM) and Open Perception (OP) are partnering for the purpose of Point Cloud Library (PCL) development.
Fraunhofer IPM develops tailor-made measuring techniques, systems and materials for industry. The Railway Measurement Group within IPM is developing advanced optical measuring systems for monitoring the condition of rail and road infrastructure. The group has been specialized on laser-based sensor systems, e.g. high speed laser scanner unit.
To capture the environment of a railway track, trains which are equipped with laser scanners are used. A new conceptual design developed by IPM extends the common setup by scanners which are capturing data ahead in driving direction. IPM selected the Point Cloud Library (PCL) project as their algorithmic core for optimizing the operating process and their software infrastructure.
For this task we are looking for two master students. Please see the images/PDFs below for more detailed information.

Bio-tracking software


The Georgia Tech Multi-Agent Robotics and Systems Lab ( is pleased to announce the release of their bio-tracking software, The Biotrack Pack. This open-source project makes use of our own Point Cloud Library, as well as other open source software such as OpenCV and QT.
This is the first iteration of a modular software suite for tracking and analyzing multiple agents. It is supported on Ubuntu Linux 64-bit operating systems, and a Mac version of the software has been released as well, although without official support at the moment.
Visit their website to get a copy of the software:, as well as the Wiki for full examples and tutorials:
If you would like to stay updated and receive more announcements about the Biotrack Pack, please subscribe to via the following link:

PCL 1.6 released!

PCL 1.6

We are very happy to announce that we are releasing the 1.6 version of our favorite library. This release took longer than the usual due to the very busy schedule of the PCL community: code sprints, tutorials at robotics and computer vision conferences, contests, the Open Perception Foundation etc.

Due to the larger time difference to the previous release, the Point Cloud Library 1.6 contains a lot more new features, bug fixes, and awesome tools and apps you can take advantage of in your personal projects. More details on the change list.

As usual, you will find binaries for Windows, Debian&Ubuntu, and Mac OS X on the downloads page. or source code that you can compile for your favorite supported platform.

Thank you for the awesome support you have offered us so far!

Open Perception Mac OS X code sprint

Open Perception meets OS X

After just a couple of weeks from the official launch, we are happy to announce that the Open Perception organization is sponsoring its first ever PCL Code Sprint. And because we are seriously standing by our commitment to make PCL truly cross-platform, this code sprint is very different than what we're used to: Fix PCL on Mac! What this means is that the lucky participant(s), besides fame and glory, will be receiving financial support through our already established code sprint pipeline, for working on improving the usability of PCL on OS X, and tackling several important issues, such as:

  • clean builds on OS X 10.6+, using different compilers: XCode 4.3+, GCC 4.2+, Clang
  • different methodologies for installing our dependencies (Boost, VTK, etc): source compiles vs prebuilt binaries (e.g., DMGs)
  • Cocoa vs X11 for QVTK (Qt+VTK)
  • analysis and scripts for MacPorts, Homebrew, Fink, CMake/SuperBuild
  • installation locations: /opt/local, /usr/local, user defined
  • offer support for Mac builds on our build farm, managed with TeamCity and CDash

Open Perception

Over the weekend, in overflowing rooms at the Point Cloud Processing workshop and PCL tutorial at CVPR 2012, Willow Garage proudly announced the creation of Open Perception, Inc. (OP), an independent non-profit foundation, focused on advancing the development and adoption of open source software for 2D and 3D processing of sensory data. For more details about the announcement, please see the official press release.

Open Perception is founded by a global community of researchers and engineers for the benefit of the industrial and research 3D perception communities. The Point Cloud Library (PCL) project represents Open Perception's most important work to date consisting of a large scale, BSD-licensed open project for 3D point cloud processing.

The foundation is set up to receive donations and sponsorship from anyone, and will concentrate on paying developers in the community, giving students travel grants and stipends, organizing open source events, and supporting its projects, such as…

PCL and ParaView -- Connecting the Dots

The PCL plugin for ParaView, developed by Kitware, Inc., allows users to access algorithms from the Point Cloud Processing Library (PCL) within ParaView. ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization framework. The plugin also provides Python bindings for the filters using VTK's python wrapping, thus enabling fast prototyping and integration with NumPy and SciPy. With point cloud data loaded in ParaView, users can interactively apply PCL algorithms, color the point clouds by different attributes, and compose complex processing pipelines to explore the point cloud data.

The PCL plugin for ParaView will be presented during the demo sessions of the International Workshop on Point Cloud Processing and the PCL tutorial at CVPR 2012 in Providence, RI (Saturday, June 16, 4.55pm - 6.30pm and Sunday, June 17, from 4:30pm).

(PCL is a proud sponsor of CVPR 2012.)

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