This article covers the difference between the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition and LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 products. Other articles in the ‘difference between’ series:
* The difference and compatibility between EV3 and NXT (link)
* The difference between NXT Home Edition and NXT Education products (link)
One robotics platform, two targets
The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics platform has been developed for two different target audiences. We have home users (children and hobbyists) and educational users (students and teachers). LEGO has designed a base set for each group, as well as several add on sets.
There isn’t a clear line between home users and educational users, though. It’s fine to use the Education set at home, and it’s fine to use the Home Edition set at school. This article aims to clarify the differences between the two product lines so you can decide which product works best for you.
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition
The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set (LEGO #31313) is the one you’ll find in toy stores and many online stores, as shown in Figure 1 (link). It is often referred to as the Home Edition or Retail Edition. Right out of the box you can build 5 robots including EV3RSTORM, GRIPP3R, TRACK3R, R3PTAR and SPIK3R (link) and 12 bonus models (link).
Figure 1: LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition (LEGO Catalog #31313)
You program the robot with software that you can download from the LEGO MINDSTORMS website for free (link). You can also control your robot with your smart phone, or with the infrared remote control that comes with the set.
The set contains 1 EV3 programmable brick, 2 Large Motors, 1 Medium motor, 1 Touch Sensor, 1 Color Sensor, 1 Infrared Sensor and an infrared remote, as shown in Figure 2. The set also includes 7 connector cables and a USB cable for programming.
You’ll need 6 AA batteries for the EV3 brick, and 2 AAA batteries for the remote. Instead of using 6 AA batteries, you can purchase the LEGO EV3 Rechargeable Battery and charger. (See “The EV3 Rechargeable Battery” below.)
Figure 2: LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition Hardware
The set further contains nearly 600 building elements, including beams, axles, gears and connectors, as shown in Figure 3. The inside of the cardboard packaging contains a mission pad (link). You can view an unboxing video of the set here (link).
Figure 3: LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition Parts list.