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Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) 2011

Our organization was awarded 11 slots for the Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) 2011. It looks like this summer will be a busy one!

We would like to thank all the GSOC students for their applications. It came as a surprise to us how many talented individuals out there want to work with us! We hope to be able to collaborate with all of you, within but also outside GSOC. This is just the beginning.

The list of approved projects for GSOC 2011 is (from PCL's GSOC page), in no order:

  • Alexandru-Eugen Ichim on Geometric Object Recognition;
  • Andreas Mützel on Fast Approximate Nearest Neighbors (KDTree) on GPU;
  • Gabe O'Leary on Tutorials;
  • Gheorghe Lisca on Point Cloud Registration;
  • Gregory Long on Surface Reconstruction with Textures;
  • Ioan Dumitru Dragan on Real-time Segmentation and Tracking;
  • Khai Tran on Surface Reconstruction with Textures;
  • Nick Vanbaelen on Fast Approximate Nearest Neighbours (KDTree) on GPU/multi-core;
  • Pararth Shah on Point Cloud Registration;
  • Roman Shapovalov on Geometric Object Recognition;
  • Siddharth Choudhary on Fast Search Methods (Octrees) on GPU/multi-core;

Mapping with Octree structures

Kai Wurm from the University of Freiburg (Germany) recently visited Willow Garage. During his stay, he worked on integrating the 3D mapping library OctoMap into the ROS and PCL frameworks. To provide real-time 3D maps of the workspace of the PR2 robot, the runtime and memory requirements of OctoMap were substantially reduced. To make OctoMap more attractive for mobile manipulation, he also investigated the use of collections of multi-resolution maps to model movable objects at millimeter resolution.

For more technical information, please see the slides below (download PDF). For more information on using OctoMap with ROS, please see octomap_mapping.

Modular components for point cloud registration

Dirk Holz from the University of Bonn in Germany spent his internship at Willow Garage working on the Point Cloud Library (PCL). He implemented a set of modular components for registering point clouds to create three-dimensional models of objects and environments. The work on the registration part of PCL is a joint effort with other researchers from the PCL community and an ongoing project. Please watch the video above for first demonstrations of what is already achievable or read the slides below (download pdf) for more technical details. The software is available as open source part of the PCL project.

PCL Tutorial at RSS 2011

Tutorial on 3D Point Cloud Processing: PCL (Point Cloud Library)

July 1, 2011 @ USC in Los Angeles, California (full day)

In conjunction with RSS (Robotics: Science and Systems) 2011


Tutorial Description

With the advent of new, low-cost hardware such as OpenNI compatible cameras and continued efforts in advanced open source 3D point cloud processing, 3D perception gains more and more importance in robotics, as well as other fields. The workshop attempts to motivate new developers and ideas to delve into this subject by offering a tutorial on point cloud processing using the emerging Point Cloud Library (PCL), which presents an advanced and extensive approach to the subject, as well as providing an overview of existing systems applying these techniques. Our goal is to provide an excellent reference material for students and researchers interested in this subject and take our guests through a complete application demonstration (given live) that combines subjects such as filtering, feature estimation, segmentation, registration, object recognition and finally surface reconstruction. The tutorial will be held using OpenNI compatible sensors, so we encourage the audience to bring theirs so we can follow all the steps together. We're…

PCL accepted for Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) 2011

PCL got accepted as one of the projects for the Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) 2011. Our PCL GSOC web site is available at

The URLs containing the correct information for GSOC 2011 are:

If you're interested to see what PCL can already do, please check out our documentation, and our Youtube channel. More demos coming soon!


Prospective students are encouraged to contact us at, and/or via IRC, or our other communication channels. Please do not e-mail the mentors directly. We hope that with your help, we will make PCL a better product. Thank you! website online

The new web site is now online! \o/

This is hopefully going to be the new home to PCL and related projects for a very long time. We would like to take a moment and thank our colleagues from for all their help, as we got born and spent our first year as a baby library in our old home. As we have grown tremendously since then, it was time to move to a new, more "dedicated" house, that will support our explosive 3D development. So, welcome to!

Together with the new web site, we launch a collection of sister web sites, that will best serve our great development team and user base:


Thanks to everyone that made this happen. We are excited to be part of this new flourishing 3D processing community, and we hope to work together for a long time to help solve 3D perception problems.


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