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Point cloud registration, is the process of finding a spatial transformation that aligns two point clouds. The purpose is to merge point clouds of multiple views into a globally consistent model.
Iterative Closest Points (ICP) is an algorithm employed to minimize the difference between two clouds of points. In the algorithm, target point cloud, is kept fixed, while the other one, the source, is transformed to best match the reference (the target). The algorithm iteratively revises the transformation (combination of translation and rotation) needed to minimize the distance from the source to the reference point cloud.