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RGBDemo 0.6

RGBDemo is a software based on OpenCV, OpenNI and PCL that aims at showcasing computer vision applications that benefit from the recently available Kinect-like cameras. It was partly developed at the RoboticsLab of Carlos III University (Madrid) by Nicolas Burrus.

The 0.6 release includes two new demos, an interactive program to calibrate multiple RGBD cameras, and a one shot 3D model acquisition of objects lying on a table based on PCL table top detector. See the video below for more information. Other demos include visual SLAM and people counting.

The core library behind it (called nestk) can be used to develop your own RGBD software, and code source for everything is available under LGPL license on the project webpage.

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PCL 1.1!

We're thrilled to announce that Point Cloud Library (PCL) version 1.1 has been released!

PCL 1.1

You can find the latest source and binaries on our download page:

Thanks to the hard work of all of our awesome contributors, we've got a big list of new features:

  • new 3D features:
    • SHOT (Signature of Histograms of Orientations)
    • PPF (Point-Pair Features)
    • StatisticalMultiscaleInterestRegionExtraction
    • MultiscaleFeaturePersistence
  • improved documentation:
    • sample consensus model coefficients better explained
    • new tutorials (RadiusOutlierRemoval, ConditionalRemovalFilter, ConcatenateClouds, IterativeClosestPoint, KdTreeSearch, NARF Descriptor visualization, NARF keypoint extraction, ConcaveHull, PCLVisualizer demo)
  • new surface triangulation methods:
    • MarchingCubes, MarchingCubesGreedy
    • OrganizedFastMesh
    • SurfelSmoothing
    • SimplificationRemoveUnusedVertices
  • new registration methods:
    • PyramindFeatureMatching
    • CorrespondenceRejectorSampleConsensus
  • new…

Presentations from the PCL tutorial at RSS 2011

We uploaded some of the presentations given by our team of lecturers at the RSS 2011 PCL tutorial in Los Angeles, CA. Please visit for more information.

We would like to thank the conference organizers (go USC!), our lecturers, and of course, all the participants, for the extremely interesting discussions and all the fun times we had in LA!

Obviously the presentations can only capture a small part of what happened on site, including (what is potentially a world premiere!) our lecturers giving talks from overseas via 3D point clouds, the online coding sessions, and all the crazy Kinect/PSDK hackery that went on.

Hope to see you again at IROS in San Francisco, and thanks again for your continuous interest in PCL!

PCL 1.0.1!

We're thrilled to announce that Point Cloud Library (PCL) version 1.0.1 has been released!

PCL 1.0.1

PCL 1.0.1 is a patch release, API compatible with 1.0. Here's a few of the release highlights:

  • please note that version 1.0.0 had a flaw when creating ASCII pcd files. This version includes the tool pcd_convert_NaN_nan to fix this
  • added VTK file visualization to pcd_viewer
  • hiding the cminpack/FLANN headers, thus reducing compile time for user code
  • fixed IntegralImageNormalEstimation
  • tutorial updates and fixes + new tutorials. Changed tutorial structure to split CPP files from RST text.
  • better doxygen documentation for many functions
  • fixed a bug in ConditionalRemovalFilter where the keep_organized condition was reversed
  • removed BorderDescription and Histogram<2> from the list of explicit template instantiations
  • added PointXY point registration macros
  • added ExtractIndicesSelf unit test
  • fixed a lot of alignment issues on 32bit architectures
  • PCD ascii files now have each individual line trimmed for trailing spaces
  • internal changes for PCDReader/PCDWriter, where NAN data is represented as "nan"
  • sped up compilation with MSVC by adding…

GSOC Developers Blog

Our team of PCL developers working on the Google Summer Of Code project decided to start blogging about their experiences while using and developing PCL code. We hope that the information gathered here will be extremely useful for next year's GSOC, or for future generations of students that will try to go through the same steps (from users to contributors/developers).

The image below shows a snippet of the sort of information we expect to find there: results, screenshots, comments, formulas, and most importantly code snippets.

For more information, go to

QUT CyPhy Lab Quadrotor powered by PCL

Our friends and colleagues from QUT (Queensland University of Technology) built a quadrotor robot, that uses PCL and a stripped down Kinect to create 3D maps and navigate around. See the video below for more information, kudos to Inkyu Sa.

Compressing Point Clouds

Julius Kammerl from Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Munich, Germany spent his internship at Willow Garage working on the Point Cloud Library (PCL). To find out more, please watch the video above. You can also read the slides below (download pdf) for more technical details.

Robots such as the PR2 by Willow Garage employ depth sensors for acquiring information about the shape and geometry of their environment. These sensors discretely sample the three dimensional space with high spatial resolution and high update rate and therefore generate large point data sets. Once these so called point clouds have to be stored on the robot or transmitted over rate-limited communication channels, the interest in compressing this kind of data emerges and efficient algorithms for compressing and communicating point clouds become highly relevant. Further applications for point cloud compression can be found in the field of 3D television/conferencing.

In our work we compress the point distribution by performing a spatial decomposition based on octree data structures. Furthermore, by correlating and referencing the…

PCL 1.0!

We're thrilled to announce that Point Cloud Library (PCL) version 1.0 has been released!

PCL 1.0

PCL is a large-scale, cross-platform, open project for point cloud processing that is free for commercial and research use. The PCL framework comprises state-of-the-art algorithms that have endless uses, such as filtering outliers from noisy data, stitching 3D point clouds together, segmenting relevant parts of a scene, extracting keypoints and creating surfaces from point clouds. With the 1.0 release, PCL is now a completely standalone library, using a few "system" dependencies (Boost, Qhull, VTK) with some extra third-party libraries (FLANN, Eigen, CMinpack, OpenNI). The release features a number of changes and updates to help you do more -- and help you do it more easily. A few highlights:

  • Full Linux, Windows and Mac OSX support. If you can connect an OpenNI camera to it, PCL can run on it
  • Complete OpenNI interface for PSDK, Asus WAVI XTion and Kinect. Just hook up your camera and start hacking in 3D
  • Complete Octree interface for point cloud compression, nearest neighbor search, change detection and more
  • Lots of tutorials and demos – with more on the way

A project of this magnitude can only be accomplished with a fantastic…

OpenCV team joins PCL development

Due to a generous grant from nVidia, our friends and collaborators from ITSeez, the maintainers of OpenCV, are joining forces with the PCL development team, in order to provide GPGPU optimizations for PCL.

ITSeez has been proudly developing and maintaining OpenCV for the past few years, and are bringing in a large baggage of Computer Vision algorithmic knowledge and optimizations.

Part of PCL 2.x (development will start soon), we plan to completely integrate GPU accelerations for all our 3D algorithms. Together with the OpenCV team, we will try to concentrate and coagulate our efforts to better support the 2D/3D perception community. Our collaboration started after last year's GTC (see slides below), but will intensify from now onwards.

Bilibot powered by PCL

Our friends and colleagues from MIT built a robot called Bilibot, that uses OpenNI compatible cameras, PCL and ROS, with the purpose to both push the boundaries of technology and train future generations of researchers. Bilibot joins other cheap robotic platforms, including Willow Garage's Turtlebot, in an attempt to create a robotics platform for exploration and create a community of robotics enthusiasts.

The Point Cloud Library allows Bilibot to process the enormous volume of 3D data. Check for more information.

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