PCL (Point Cloud Library)

The Point Cloud Library ( PCL) is a free library with numerous algorithms to handle n-dimensional point clouds and three-dimensional geometries. The library is divided into several modules, which correspond to specific tasks, such as filter, registration, segmentation, surface reconstruction, model estimation and visualization. The project is driven by a global consortium, which in addition to numerous universities and research institutions also belong to large companies such as Toyota, Intel and Nvidia. The library is written in C and is released under the BSD license. One of the applications is the robot navigation. The Robot Operating System has an interface for PCL. The library may also be used for manipulation and visualization of the generated by the sensor Kinect 3D data. The PCL has for 3D image processing is now a status similar to OpenCV for 2D image processing.


The development of the Point Cloud Library began in March 2010 at Willow Garage. In March 2011, a website for the project was established. Since 2012, the library of the non-profit organization Open Perception Foundation, an offshoot of Willow Garage, managed.

The first officially released version of the PCL appeared two months later in May 2011.

In the years 2011 and 2012, the PCL project took each of the " Google Summer of Code " part program.

On the ICRA Robotics Conference, which was held in Karlsruhe in May 2013, the PCL was devoted to a full day workshop.