This paper presents a hardware realization of a genetic algorithm (GA) for the path planning problem of mobile robots on a field programmable gate array (FPGA). A customized GA intellectual property (IP) core was designed and implemented on an FPGA. A Xilinx xupv5-1x110t FPGA device was used as the hardware platform. The proposed GA IP core was applied to a Pioneer 3-DX mobile robot to confirm its path planning performance. For localization tasks, a camera mounted on the ceiling of the laboratory was utilized to receive images and allow the robot to determine its own location and the obstacles in the environment. In this way, procedures of path planning were tested in a real laboratory environment. An impressive time speedup was achieved when compared with its software implementation. Experimental results illustrate the effectiveness of the GA IP core hardware.