Abstract—Traditionally, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms solve the localization and mapping problem in explored regions. This paper presents a prediction-based SLAM algorithm (called P-SLAM), which has an environmental-structure predictor to predict the structure inside an unexplored region (i.e., look-ahead mapping). The prediction process is based on the observation of the surroundings of an unexplored region and comparing it with the built map of explored regions. If a similar environment/structure is matched in the map of explored regions, a hypothesis is generated to indicate that a similar structure has been explored before. If the environment has repeated structures, the mobile robot can use the predicted structure as a virtual mapping, and decide whether or not to explore the unexplored region to save the exploration time. If the mobile robot decides to explore the unexplored region, a correct prediction can be used to speed up the SLAM process and build a more accurate map. We have also derived the Bayesian formulation of P-SLAM to show its compact recursive form for real-time operation. We have experimentally implemented the proposed P-SLAM on a Pioneer 3-DX mobile robot using a Rao–Blackwellized particle filter in real time. Computer simulations and experimental results validated the performance of the proposed P-SLAM and its effectiveness in indoor environments. Index Terms—Bayes procedures, environmental-structure prediction, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). I
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