Abstract:Today's three-dimensional (3D) virtual environments (VEs) are usually based on textured polygonal 3D models, which represent the appearance and geometry of the virtual world. However, some application domains require other graphical paradigms, which are currently not adequately addressed by 3D user interfaces. We introduce a novel approach for a technical human-robot telepresence setup that allows a human observer to explore a VE, which is a 3D reconstruction of the real world based on point clouds. Such point cloud virtual environments (PCVEs) represent the external environment, and are usually acquired by 3D scanners. We present an application scenario, in which a mobile robot captures 3D scans of a terrestrial environment, which are automatically registered to a coherent PCVE. This virtual 3D reconstruction is displayed in an immersive virtual environment (IVE) in which a user can explore the PCVE. We explain and describe the technical setup, which opens up new vistas of presenting a VE as points rather than a polygonal representation.