Visual Odometry and LQR Control for a Mecanum Base
I designed a mount for a downward facing camera and implemented visual odometry on a Segway RMP 50 omnidirectional base with mecanum wheels. Using this system I was able to develop a LQR controller to command smooth motions for the base. This increases the kinematic workspace of Cody, the Healthcare Robotics Lab's two-armed robot, which we have found to be very useful. See videos below from our IROS paper and from initial testing.
After this initial work, I also mentored an undergraduate student to build a portable robot with a similar visual odometry system. This was so that we could take it to homes, hospitals, etc. and test our visual odometry in numerous environments. We also hoped to use the downward facing images to do mapping, but we switched to other projects when our lab was awarded a PR2 robot. See pictures below of the portable visual odometry system we built.