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PCL and NVidia Code Sprint 2012

NVidia

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

PCL Code Sprints are intended to rapidly advance the capabilities of the Point Cloud Library in a certain area/subject by offering stipends to talented student developers and pairing them with knowledgeable mentors for several months of accelerated software development. Projects will run for an initial period of 3 months, and all of the code produced will be BSD-licensed open source.

For this spring's PCL-NVidia Code Sprint, we have identified the following important areas for further development in PCL, and we are therefore searching for outstanding candidates (and mentors) to work on the following projects:

  1. Human Body tracking: The high-level purpose of this project is to implement and analyze various techniques for extracting humans body poses in dense 3D data at high speed with CUDA. The applications are numerous, from gaming to gesture interfacing. The code sprint component will be a focused implementation that produces fast and reusable code. Some possible code sprint project specifications…

2nd ICRA Workshop on Semantic Perception, Mapping and Exploration (SPME 2012)


St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, May 14, 2011
http://www.spme.ws/

Important Dates

Submissions Due:01 April 2012
Notification of Acceptance:16 April 2012
Final Papers Due:01 May 2012
Workshop at ICRA:14 May 2012

Motivation and Objectives

As robots and autonomous systems move away from laboratory setups towards complex real-world scenarios, both the perception capabilities of these systems and their abilities to acquire and model semantic information must become more powerful. The autonomous acquisition of information, the extraction of semantic models, and exploration strategies for deciding where and how to acquire the most relevant information pertinent to a specific semantic model are the research foci of an annual series of workshops at ICRA, called Semantic Perception, Mapping and Exploration (SPME).

Semantic perception for intelligent systems such as robots has seen a lot of progress recently, with many new and interesting techniques being developed in parallel by different research groups. Moreover, with the advent of inexpensive and accurate 3D imaging sensors, there has been an explosion of interest in 3D point clouds across a broad range of people.…



PCL and Honda Research Institute Code Sprint 2012

Honda Research Institute

It is our immense pleasure to announce the beginning of a new PCL Code Sprint sponsored by Honda Research Institute: PCL-HRCS!

PCL Code Sprints are intended to rapidly advance the capabilities of the Point Cloud Library in a certain area/subject by offering stipends to talented student developers and pairing them with knowledgeable mentors for several months of accelerated software development. Projects will run for an initial period of 3 months, and all of the code produced will be BSD-licensed open source.

For this spring's PCL-Honda Research Institute Code Sprint, we have identified the following important area for further development in PCL, and we are therefore searching for outstanding candidates (and mentors) to work on the following projects:

  1. Non-ground extraction from point cloud data: given a point cloud data sequence, develop a method for determining a planar drivable area (i.e., identify pixels in the image that correspond to the drivable zone), then classify the remaining areas in non-drivable or unknown.
  2. Face orientation: given a point…

PCL-URCS kickstart!

PCL-URCS is ready to start! The integration of Urban Robotics's out-of-core octree into PCL will be performed by Stephen D. Fox, from Fordham University Robotics and Computer Vision Lab, NY. Stephen has been working on numerous projects involving laser sensors, and stereo cameras, and has been part of our community since PCL 1.0.

We would like to thank all the other candidates for their excellent proposals! We already started following up with each of them individually, as this is just our third code sprint and there are many more to come!

[Note: the new blogging page for URCS will be up within the next few days at http://pointclouds.org/blog/urcs/.]

CUDA 4.1 released

NVIDIA has posted a new release of the CUDA Toolkit. Of note is a significant enhancement to the NVIDIA Performance Primitives (NPP) library, a collection of GPU-accelerated image, video and signal processing functions that deliver 5x to 10x faster performance than comparable CPU-only implementations.

Using NPP, developers can take advantage of over 2000 image processing and signal processing primitives to achieve significant improvements in application performance. Whether you are simply replacing CPU primitives with GPU-accelerated versions or integrating NPP primitives with your existing GPU-accelerated pipeline, NPP delivers high performance while reducing development time. We have already seen speedups in PCL trunk by compiling and using our Kinect Fusion implementation as well as other GPU code with CUDA 4.1.

Other new features in CUDA 4.1 include:

  • 10% performance improvement with new LLVM-based CUDA compiler.
  • Re-designed Visual Profiler to give you step-by-step performance optimizations.

Find out more at http://bit.ly/xRYur6.

CUDA 4.1

PCL and Urban Robotics Code Sprint 2012

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

PCL Code Sprints are intended to rapidly advance the capabilities of the Point Cloud Library in a certain area/subject by offering stipends to talented student developers and pairing them with knowledgeable mentors for several months of accelerated software development. These sprints have been inspired by the Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) initiative, and we will be following the same basic model. Projects will run for an initial period of 3 months with the same structure and performance evaluations as the GSOC program, and all of the code produced will be open source.

For this winter's PCL-Urban Robotics Code Sprint, we have identified the following important area for further development in PCL, and we are therefore searching for outstanding candidates (and mentors) to work on the following project:

  1. Out-of-core octree integration: integrate and extend Urban Robotics's highly scalable, spatially searchable and colorized 3D octree-based point cloud format in PCL, to efficiently support the visualization and processing…

Tracking 3D objects with Point Cloud Library

Tracking 3D objects in continuous point cloud data sequences is an important research topic for mobile robots: it allows robots to monitor the environment and make decisions and adapt their motions according to the changes in the world. An example of such a typical application is visual servoing, with its key challenge to estimate the three dimensional pose of an object in real-time.

During his internship at Willow Garage, Ryohei Ueda from the JSK laboratory at University of Tokyo, worked on a novel 3D tracking library for the Point Cloud Library (PCL) project. The purpose of the library is to provide a comprehensive algorithmic base for the estimation of 3D object poses using Monte Carlo sampling techniques and for calculating the likelihood using combined weighted metrics for hyper-dimensional spaces including Cartesian data, colors, and surface normals. The libpcl_tracking library is optimized to perform computations in real-time, by employing multi CPU cores optimization, adaptive particle filtering (KLD sampling) and other modern techniques.

To find out more about Ryohei's…

PCL-TRCS kickstart!

PCL-TRCS is ready to start! Due to the extreme level of interest, we have received an impressive number of great applications, and therefore have decided to bump the number of projects/slots to 8. It is therefore our pleasure to announce the dream team that will be working on TRCS for the next 3-6 months!

PCL 1.4.0!

We're thrilled to announce that Point Cloud Library (PCL) version 1.4.0 has been released!

PCL 1.4

You can find the latest source and binaries on our download page: http://www.pointclouds.org/downloads/.

Thanks to the hard work of all of our awesome contributors, we've got a big list of new features. The most notable overall changes are:

libpcl_common

  • added float union to the pointXYZRGBL type, in order to aid PCD_viewer compatibility
  • bugfix: pcl::computeCovarianceMatrixNormalized did not normalize for each implementation
  • fixed bug #421: at(u,v) should return a const reference
  • added…

Augmented Reality with Kinect Fusion

When we open sourced the Kinect Fusion algorithm a few weeks ago, we were not expecting so many people to join our community and start helping co-develop and improve the system. As we said in our initial announcement, the new Kinect Fusion implementation was still experimental, and it still has a lot of rough edges. However, that didn't scare off Weipeng Xu, one of our fearless new users. He saw the potential of this code and quickly integrated it with the XNA framework, creating a foundation to support the development of future augmented reality games and applications.

Augmented Reality is a challenging application domain, and there are a number of difficult tasks that must be performed in any AR system. Notably, for many applications, it's necessary to be able to construct a good 3D model of the environment and accurately track the movements of the camera in real time. Weifeng was able to use a Kinect 3D camera and PCL's experimental implementation of the KinectFusion algorithm to solve both of these problems. The result, as shown in the videos below, is a markerless AR system with the ability to handle occlusion between the real scene and virtual objects.

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