Back in June, I wrote about the founding of Open Perception, a new non-profit designed to drive open source coding to support the 3D data capture industry, born out of the Point Cloud Library. Three months later, a few things are starting to fall into place.
Just since the founding, they’ve added 100 new developers contributing to the open source code for processing 3D data, meaning there are now as many as 450 coders feeding into the non-profit organization. That takes some time and energy and manpower to manage, though, which means Open Perception needs to generate some revenue to support it all. Thus, said CEO Radu Rusu via email, “We have just refined our mission and goals/objectives for the near future … Our board of directors approved that we can now do contracting work with larger commercial partners that can generate more cash that can be poured back into open source. The work that we will be doing will contain a big open source component (meaning that the core algorithmic work will be kept open source, with a BSD license) but can also contain closed source solutions such as pipelines, GUIs and other elements that are specific to a particular business, might contain IP, and wouldn’t really benefit the Point Cloud Library open source community anyway.”
That’s good news because it allows Open Perception to leverage its expertise to keep itself afloat, rather than, as many 501c3 non-profits find themselves doing, spending most of their time soliciting donations and writing grants. Further, it gets them inside of organizations and evangelizing for both 3D data and open source algorithms in general, and that can only be a good thing for the growth of 3D data processing software.
Go ahead and read Open Perception’s new mission and about us statements and consider both whether there might be a way for your organization to leverage Open Perception’s talents and whether they might be worth of a donation of your company’s time, energy, and funds.