We present a real time vision system designed for and implemented on a graphics processing unit (GPU). After an introduction in GPU programming we describe the
architecture of the system and software running on the GPU. We show the advantages of implementing a vision processor on the GPU rather than on a CPU as well as the shortcomings of this approach. Our performance
measurements show that the GPU-based vision system including colour segmentation, pattern recognition and edge detection easily meets the requirements for high resolution (1024×768) colour image processing at a rate
of up to 50 frames per second. A CPU-based implementation on a mobile PC would under these constraints achieve only around twelve frames per second. The source code of this system is available online.