Applied Robotics/Sensors and Perception/Open CV
What is OpenCV
OpenCV is a powerful free open source computer vision library maintained by Willow Garage that is widely used in image processing and recognition applications. OpenCV is a framework containing routines for image storage and retrieval, video capture, image processing, computer vision algorithms, GUI and windowing, and many other advanced features. From basic image thresholding to 3D stereo vision, OpenCV usually has a solution for most computer vision needs. OpenCV currently supports many platforms (Linux, BSD, Windows, and MacOSX) and supports bindings for the C, C++, and Python languages. OpenCV is notably faster at image processing than MATLAB in most cases but requires an application built around using the OpenCV library. OpenCV is also available as a ROSpackage in Robot Operating System. More information is available at the OpenCV website.
How to Install/Build OpenCV for C/C++
Windows: In a Windows environment, OpenCV can be installed for both the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler or MinGW. The VC++ package is easiest to install and comes in a precompiled binary available: http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencvlibrary/files/opencv-win/2.4.4/OpenCV-2.4.4.exe/download. This install requires that Microsoft Visual Studio be installed, which is available as a free download from Microsoft (Express Edition): http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/visual-studio-express-for-windows-desktop
The full version of MS Visual Studio is available via student Dreamspark accounts accessible via the College of Engineering T.E.A.C.H. webpage.
Linux, Android, MacOSX, non VC++ Windows Compilers: Most other supported platforms require building OpenCV from source files. Full instructions and methods of obtaining the source code can be found in the official OpenCV install guide.