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For a mobile robot, odometry calibration consists of the identification of a set of kinematic parameters that allow reconstructing the vehicle's absolute position and orientation starting from the wheels' encoder measurements. This paper develops a systematic method for odometry calibration of differential-drive mobile robots. As a first step, the kinematic equations are written so as to underline linearity in a suitable set of unknown parameters; thus, the least-squares method can be applied to estimate them. A major advantage of the adopted formulation is that it provides a quantitative measure of the optimality of a test motion; this can be exploited to drive guidelines on the choice of the test trajectories and to evaluate accuracy of a solution. The proposed technique has been experimentally validated on two different mobile robots and, in one case, compared with other existing approaches; the obtained results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed calibration method.