This paper presents the design and experimental characterization of an omnidirectional unmanned ground vehicle built to operate on a wide variety of real-world terrains. The vehicle can change its orientation and direction of travel regardless of its current kinematic configuration and without significantly decreasing its speed. This gives it the advantage of having high mobility in relatively tight and confined spaces compared to vehicles that utilize skid or Ackermann type steering mechanisms. The vehicle described here utilizes conventional wheels, which gives it several advantages over other omnidirectional vehicle designs that use specialized wheels with small, slender rollers that can become clogged with dirt and debris commonly encountered in outdoor environments. The focus of the paper is on how the concept of kinematic isotropy affects the mechanical design of the system and the experimental results used to validate the design.
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