Change of job titles
After a wonderful 1 year of PCL, we looked back and realized that we outgrew our current capabilities of sustaining the community, especially since we married so many different industries and research fields under the same umbrella: robotics, computer vision, mapping/GIS, entertainment, computer graphics, medical, photogrammetry and sensing, and even gaming, etc. We currently have around 400 developers/contributors coming from more than 50 institutions around the world, and many thousands of users. There have been 8 PCL tutorials (RSS, IROS, ICCV, ICRA, CRV, GTC, CVPR), plus other meetups and gatherings, and last year PCL won the first prize at the Open Source Software (OSS) World Challenge. PCL has received financial support from more than 10 companies and government institutes — and the list continues to grow, which have hired over 35 contrators to work on PCL in 2012 alone. Our community has open sourced many algorithms, and has probably helped start a dozen new startups around the world. We always liked to think about ourselves as an “aggregator”, in the sense of we bring people from different communities together that are as eager as we are to write open source software for point cloud perception and visualization. The image below attempts to illustrate this. It’s a real privilege to work with such an amazing and talented group of people.
So back in April we started putting the basis of a new organization, this time a non-profit, that was to be spun out from Willow Garage, with a mission to continue carrying the PCL torch. This organization is called Open Perception.
Our address is the same, but I had to change my job title. The hope is to scale up the activities that we have undertaken in the past 6-9 months, and build better “no PhD required” open source software for 2D/3D perception. In terms of what’s next, be sure to look at both the Open Perception and Point Cloud Library (PCL) web pages, as there’s lots of exciting initiatives to be announced soon. Don’t forget: if you like point clouds and open source, you should probably talk to us.