Point Cloud Library (PCL)
List of projects accepted into Point Cloud Library (PCL)
The Point Cloud Library (PCL is an open source framework for point cloud processing. A point cloud is a data structure used to represent a collection of multi-dimensional points and is commonly used to represent three-dimensional data such as the output of a stereo camera, 3D scanner, or time-of-flight camera. The library contains numerous state-of-the art algorithms including filtering, feature estimation, surface reconstruction, registration, model fitting and segmentation. These algorithms can be used, for example, to filter outliers from noisy data, stitch 3D point clouds together, segment relevant parts of a scene, extract keypoints and compute descriptors to recognize objects in the world based on their geometric appearance, and create surfaces from point clouds and visualize them --- to name a few.
PCL is released under the terms of the BSD license and is open source software. It is free for commercial and research use.
Development of PCL is a large collaborative effort driven by researchers and engineers from many different institutions and companies around the world, including: AIST, UC Berkeley, University of Bonn, University of British Columbia, ETH Zurich, University of Freiburg, Intel Research Seattle, ITSeez, LAAS/CNRS, MIT, NVidia, Stanford University, TU Munich, University of Tokyo, Willow Garage, TU Wien, and WUSTL.
The use of PCL is instrumental for robotics applications, and with the advent of new, low-cost hardware such as Kinect-like sensors, PCL places a lot of functionality in the hands of end-users and developers all around the world that need to do something useful with their 3D data. The library is written entirely in C++ and makes use of Boost shared pointers for all its internal data structures. In order to support applications that require real time point cloud processing, PCL has been designed to take advantage of SSE instructions when available, and a GPU interface is currently under development in association with NVIDIA.
Just as OpenCV has united the field of Computer Vision and 2D perception, the Point Cloud Library aims to unite the field of point cloud processing. By providing an extensible framework for all the geometric algorithms necessary for 3D perception, PCL enables developers to create applications limited by their imaginations, rather than their 3D geometric knowledge.
Our code repository can be found here: http://code.google.com/p/google-summer-of-code-2011-pcl/