News Articles

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.)

PCL logo Paraview logo Kitware logo

PCL and Dinast Code Sprint 2012


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

DINAST, a short range 3D sensor manufacturer known for their IPA infrared cameras, is looking for talented developers that are willing to contribute to two areas in PCL:

  1. a pcl::Grabber camera driver interface for DINAST cameras (standalone BSD open source C++ driver code already available);
  2. a technology demonstrator for real-time 3D collision mapping (e.g., using octree structures) used for motion planning with a mobile manipulator, using multiple IPA 3D cameras.

PCL-DINCS will run for 1.5 months during this summer. The student developer will receive a stipend of $1500 and several IPA 3D cameras. 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…

PCL goes Mobile with VES and Kiwi

The mobile revolution is upon us! Who says mobile platforms are only good for email and Facebook? Why not 3-D perception and scientific visualization? Today's phones and tablets ship with multi-core CPUs, gigabytes of RAM, and more pixels than you can see. If you want to run Point Cloud Library on your iPhone, then who's to stop you? Mobile is here.

The Point Cloud Library community, Willow Garage, NVidia and Kitware are pleased to announce their collaboration to bring point cloud visualization to the mobile domain. You don't have to stop at visualization either; why not run a couple of PCL filters on your device while you're at it? Development sponsored by the NVidia Code Sprint has brought examples of point cloud streaming mobile clients, apps that read PCD files and execute PCL filters, and point cloud visualizations with millions of points.

Kiwi_logo Vtk logo Android logo Ios logo Kitware logo

Google Summer of Code 2012 ready to begin!

We have used all the 11 slots that Google allocated to our organization, gathering a veritable dream-team of researchers and coders from all over the world:

  • Kripasindhu Sarkar from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur is a senior undergraduate who is going to work on 2D Image Drawing Operators from VTK in PCL, under the supervision of:
    • Marcus Hanwell
    • Pat Marion
  • Yangyan Li, PhD student from the Visual Computing Research Center(VCC), Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology(SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences is tackling a project he proposed himself, called ScanModeler: a Point Cloud based Reconstruction Platform, being helped out by:
    • Stefan Holzer
    • Federico Tombari
  • Changhyun Choi is a graduate student from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and will be developing algorithms for 3D edge extraction from an organized point cloud, mentored by:
    • Alex Trevor
  • Gioia Ballin recently graduated magna cum laude her MSc from University of Padua, Italy, and proposed to work on Additional functionalities and improvements for PCL modules, such as new feature descriptors and increments to the recognition…

First PCL Code Sprint - TOCS - a success !

We are proud to announce that the first ever PCL code sprint has recently ended, with the submission of the final reports.

More details about what they have contributed with during this period, and the final reports can be found on the TOCS developer's blog:

We are now…

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