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We present two robust and novel algorithms to model a 3D environment using both intensity and range data provided by an off-the-shelf stereo camera. The main issue we need to address is that the output of the stereo system is both sparse and noisy. To overcome this limitation,, we detect planar patches in the environment by region segmentation in 2D and plane extraction in 3D. The extracted planar patches are used not only to represent the workspace, but also to fill holes in range data. We also suggest a new planar patch based scan matching algorithm to register multiple views, and to incrementally augment the description of the 3D workspace in a sequence of scenes. Experimental results on real data show that planar patch segmentation and 3D scene registration for environment modeling can be robustly achieved by the proposed approaches.