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The Difference Between LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition (#31313) and LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 (#45544)

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.

Which set to choose?

The facts and figures on this page may help you decide which set works best for you in terms of hardware and software, but there are other criteria as well. Which set is the most fun? (And won’t end up gathering dust)? See this article for some additional considerations.

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.

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set (LEGO #45544, see Figure 4) is available from LEGO Education and various education resellers worldwide (link). The set includes building instructions for one vehicle with various sensor attachments. More building instructions are available here (link). Software tutorials are available as part of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 programming software, which is sold separately (#2000045, link).

Figure 4: LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set (LEGO Catalog #45544) – Image credit: LEGO Education

The set contains 1 EV3 programmable brick, 2 Large Motors, 1 Medium motor, 2 Touch Sensors, 1 Color Sensor, 1 Ultrasonic Sensor and 1 Gyro sensor, as shown in Figure 4. The set also includes 7 connector cables and a USB cable for programming. The set includes a rechargeable battery for the EV3 brick. The charger is sold separately (#8887, link).

Figure 5: LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set Hardware. The set also includes a rechargeable battery for the EV3 brick (not shown here).

The set contains nearly 540 building elements, including beams, axles, gears and connectors, as shown in Figure 6. The sturdy plastic box further contains storage bins for your Technic elements.

‘Upgrading’ Elements from Education Edition to Home Edition

If you have the Education Core Set (#45544), you may still want to build the robots of the Home Edition set (#31313), the 12 bonus robots (link), or robots from books about the Home Edition set (link). To do so, you’ll need to purchase separately the Infrared Sensor (link) and the Infrared Beacon (link), as well as certain Technic building elements.

You can find a list that compares the elements in both sets here (link). Thomas Rosendahl has compiled a list of elements required to upgrade from the Education Core Set to the Home Edition here (link). You can order most elements from LEGO (link), or Bricklink (link). Alternatively, you could get a large LEGO Technic set or a MINDSTORMS EV3 expansion set (See ‘LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Expansion Set’ below). You’ll get more value for money this way, but you may still need to buy certain pieces separately.

‘Upgrading’ Elements from Home Edition to Education Edition

Similarly, if you have the Home Edition set (#31313), you may still want to build the robots of the Education Core Set (#45544, link). To do so, you’ll need to purchase separately the Ultrasonic Sensor (link) and the Gyroscopic Sensor (link), as well as certain Technic building elements. You can find a list that compares the elements in both sets here (link). Note that the Infrared Sensor has exactly the same shape as the Ultrasonic Sensor. Both sensor can sense distance, but the Ultrasonic Sensor is more accurate for distance sensing. On the other hand, the Infrared Sensor serves as the receiver for the Infrared Remote. It’s up to you to decide whether you need both sensors.

EV3 Programming Software Versions

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robots must be programmed from a computer. National Instruments and LEGO have created a graphical programming language environment to make it easy for everyone to get started programming. This software comes in two versions: The Home Edition and the Education Edition for teachers and students. (In addition, hobbyists are currently developing alternative programming languages for EV3 such as C/C++ and Java).

Home Edition Software

The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition set (#31313) does not include a software CD in the box. Instead, you will need to download the Home Edition software for free from the LEGO MINDSTORMS website (link). The software includes a programming environment, and building and programming instructions for the robots you can build with the Home Edition set.

The software does not require a license key, so you can download the software early to see if you like the programming language, and to avoid waiting for a big download when you want to get started building and programing.

The installation file is about 700 MB in size. I found the following system requirements in the installation folder. I added a few comments in parentheses–they are not official comments. If you’re in doubt: Download and run the free software to see if it works before you buy the set!

Prerequisites:

* Silverlight 5.0 or newer (Installer is included – no need to download separately)
* Microsoft Dot Net 4.0 or newer (Installer is included – no need to download separately)

Operating systems:

* Windows: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (32/64 bit) with the latest service packs. (Note that it does not work on Windows 8.0 RT or 8.1 RT)
* Macintosh: Mac 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 with the latest service packs

System requirements:

* 2 GB of RAM or more
* 2.5 GHz processor or faster (This is the minimum for a dual core processor. For example, my quad core processor is just 1.7 GHz and it works fine.)
* Minimal supported screen resolution—1024*768
* LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 does not support tablets or certain netbooks with hardware that does not meet the above requirements.

Education Edition for Teachers and Students

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set (#45544) does not include a software CD in the box. You can purchase (around $99.95) a download license for the Education Edition software from LEGO Education (link). You will then be given a personalized download link for a software installation file. The installation file is about 700 MB in size. The system requirements are the same as given above.

The software includes a programming environment, and building and programming instructions for the robots you can build with the Education Core Set (#45544) and the Education Expansion set (#45560). In addition, it contains a data logging environment for science experiments. For example, you can plot a graph of the light level in a room, and see it change over time. See Damien Kee’s website for insights about using EV3 for education (link).

Using the Home Edition Software with the Education set

The EV3 brick in the Home Edition set is the same as the EV3 brick in the Education Core Set, so you can use either version of the programming software to control your robot. In fact, you can install both versions of the software on the same computer, if you like.

It is therefore possible to use the Home Edition software with the Education Core Set. When you do, you’ll need to add a few programming blocks to the software to be able to control the Gyroscope (link), the Ultrasonic Sensor (link).

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Expansion Set

You can upgrade the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set (#45544) with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Expansion Set (#45560, link). This allows you to build bigger robots such as an elephant and a stair climber (link). The set includes over 850 building elements including beams, axles, and gears, as shown in Figure 7. It does not contain any electronic elements.

While this add on pack was made for the Education Core Set, it’s also an excellent parts resource for use with the EV3 Home Edition (#31313). You won’t be able to build all of the models from this add on pack because you may be missing some elements from the Education Core Set, but the pieces are very useful to create your own robots. In particular, the set contains 9x O-frames, 6xH frames, 13x 15M beams, and numerous gears including a differential and a turntable.

The EV3 Rechargeable Battery

The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition set does not include a rechargeable battery. You can simply use 6x AA batteries. You may want to invest in 6 high performance rechargeable batteries with a dedicated charger. If you do, you’ll probably want to get at least 12 batteries so you can use one set while you charge the others.

You can also purchase the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 rechargeable battery (#45501, link) and the charger (#8887, link). This allows you to charge your robot while it’s on. No need to take your robot apart when the batteries run dry. The battery does make your EV3 a bit bigger (precisely one LEGO unit), as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 rechargeable battery (#45501) and the charger (#8887)

Working with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 books

Several LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 books have been published and a few more books are on the way. When you plan to buy one of these books, be sure to check in advance which LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set is covered. Some books contain instructions for robots you can build with the Home Edition set (#31313) while others contain instructions for the Education Core Set (#45544). Alternatively, just get the book you like, and upgrade your LEGO collection with the pieces needed for the activities in that particular book.


bookandset

To use the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book, you need the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition. This book helps you get the most out of your EV3 set. You’ll build cool robots, all the while learning about EV3 programming. You can learn more about the book here.

Apps for Smartphones and Tablets

You can control your EV3 from your iOS (link) or Android (link) smartphone or tablet. The official Commander app is targeted at Home Edition users, with specific controls for the Home Edition robots, but it also works with the Education Core Set. In particular, if you have the Education Core Set, you can use the TRACK3R controls to drive the Educator Vehicle. In addition, you can create their own customized remote to control each motor connected to the EV3 brick.

Purchasing Bluetooth and WiFi dongles

When you’ve created a program in the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 software, you transfer it to the EV3 brick using the USB cable included in the set. Once transferred to the brick, the robot can run the program on its own. In addition, you can program your robot wirelessly using Bluetooth or Wifi (use this WiFi dongle: link). This way, there’s no need to connect the USB cable each time you change the program.

While this works great for small setups at home, it can be frustrating to set up in classrooms, because classroom computers may not have administrator rights (for Bluetooth drivers) or they might not have access to configure wireless network settings (for WiFi). If you plan to use wireless capabilities in the classroom, consider buying just one dongle so you can try it out before you buy one for each set.

Questions and comments

The article and the illustrations are copyright (c) 2013 by Laurens Valk, unless stated otherwise. Use the information in this article at your own risk.

Did I miss some information in this article? Noticed any mistakes? Did a link break? Please post comments and suggestions below. If your question is off topic, please search for the appropriate article on this website and post it there, or use the contact page (link). Thanks!

How you can help

Did you find this article helpful? If you decide to buy the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition from Amazon, please consider going to Amazon by clicking here (link) before you make your purchase. It won’t cost you anything extra, but Robot Square will receive a small commission from Amazon if a purchase is made, which helps cover the expense of keeping this blog running. Thanks!

 
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151 Comments  comments 

151 Responses

  1. Miguel

    Great article. It is quite exhaustive. I got the EV3 Home and plan to buy later the extra sensors that came with Edu version.

  2. Illinois Mom

    So if my child is working with a First Lego League team using the education version, and I am considering buying one for home, do you recommend the education version? Or, would the home version suffice?

    • If he or she wants to build an exact copy of their FLL Team robot to continue at home, then you’d probably want to get the Education Set. If it’s just for fun and to learn the system in general, the Home Edition will be fine. The programming is the same, so anything you learn at home you can use in school and vice versa.

      • devendran

        which is the best set.the education set or home edition

        • sam lorens

          Which is the best set.The education set or home education set

        • Rich

          I’ll chime in with my opinion here. I think the home version is viable and the best overall value. Keep in mind the EV3 programming language is available for the home system at no additional cost. The home version will let you do all the things included in Laurens’ new book. That’s good.

          I’m an FLL coach and have the education system. (Lego does not discount to teachers). There is a gap between the two systems. The Robot Square site comparison info above references the Thomas Rosendahl comparison for adding the home to the education system. There are lot of small parts. I was planning on buying the extra parts, but that’s tedious. The difference between having the education version (#45544) and adding the home version (#31313) seems to be about $100 – $120. I also have the expansion set (#45560). I have extra parts but sorting though everything consumes time I can be building and thinking about coaching techniques. I did get the education version of the software as that is what is used in the FLL competitions. I keep in mind this is Lego and extra parts contributes to creativity. Hope this is helpful.

      • Rich

        I’m a new FLL Robotics coach. We have both the #45544 and #45560 sets for our students. I’m buying copies of you book for the team to use for practice. If I’m reading the thread correctly, having both of these sets will suffice for #31313 set. I just wanted to verify.

        As many parents will wish to have their kids do this at home I’ll suggest the #31313.

        Finding your site from the book is a blessing. Thank you.

        • Hi Rich,

          Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately there will still be a few pieces missing if you have #45544 and #45560.

          However, you already have the pieces for Chapters 1-7 & 9, so you can definitely make a good start. You can also do most of 10 and 11.

          Keep an eye on this blog for a post with more details about using the Educational EV3 sets with my book. Hopefully I can work on that soon.

          Yes, I think the #31313 is a great set too. Honestly, I think both sets are equally ‘educational’. It all depends on the learning materials used with it. With this book, you can learn just as much about building and programming.

          Thanks!

          • Rich

            Thanks Laurens,

            I’ll probably the the #31313 or my Grandson. He’s 7 and doing a Lego robotics workshop this week.

            The #45544 and #45560 sets are provided by the schools technology department. Do you have a list of missing pieces between the two? If not I’ll do the comparison and can share results.

            Regards

  3. Lama-mantis

    Thanks for giving this information!
    Is it also possible to ‘upgrade the home edition to the education?

    • Sure – but you’ll have to compare the parts lists for yourself to see which pieces you need. I’ll see if I can make such a list, some time :)

    • Kristie Brown

      Hi Laurens – great work!

      A few things to be aware of regarding the software. It is not possible to upgrade the software from toy version to education version. If you buy an education kit and use it with the toy store software you will not have the building instructions for the 4 base education modes or the expansion set models, they are integrated into the education software “lobby” and not available as a hard copy at this time. The robot educator model is included as a building book inside the sets sold in the US so you will have that model to build. This model is used with the 46 robot educator activities for students to learn more about the building and programming capacity of this software.
      Any curriculum pieces sold by LEGO Education for LEGO Mindstorms will be integrated into the lobby of the software. Like the building instructions referenced before, these components cannot be added to the toy store software as it has no lobby.
      In addition, the data logging is a very important and integral component for education. It is not just for designing science experiments. It is for evaluating and proof of design concept as well as analyzing and troubleshooting. Students iterate on an existing design, but without using data logging of their designs performance how do they know if their design is better? How much more efficient is it? How much better does it perform? These are all integral questions to the design engineering process which is fundamental to what we are trying to do in the education setting. Practice for students who will be designing for iteration and innovation.

  4. Adam

    What is the difference between the teacher addition and student addition of the EV3 site licsense?

    • I believe that during the installation of the Education Version, you can choose whether to install the Teacher Version or whether to install the Student Version. I do not know the exact difference between the two.

      • martyn

        the teacher version has more content information, like solutions to the tasks given.
        also is it possible to create your own solutions , so now the content editor in the project is split in two, one for the students and one with more explanation mend for the teachers

  5. eyal bezalel

    is the retail version provide blocks to manage ultrasonic and gyro sensors ?

  6. Emiel Brok

    Do you know if it is possible to get the EV3 Programming Software running on Linux?
    Seeing that the software needs Silverlight hurts me to be honest.
    As a big LEGO (Technic) and Linux fan I am very enthusiastic about the EV3. Mainly because LEGO choose to create the EV3 based on open source Linux.
    But requiring the software to run on non-open standards and end-off-life software like Silverlight surprises me unpleasantly.
    What is your vision on this matter?

    Best Regards, Emiel

    • Hi Emiel,

      I’m with you on that – I’d love to use the official EV3 software on Linux. I might try it on Wine, but it gives me a headache just thinking of doing that with Silverlight 5 and .NET 4.0. If you manage to do something like this, I’d be interested to hear more about it.

      Note that you can program the EV3 from Linux if you use alternative programming languages. In fact, it’s not too hard to compile native C/C++ programs for the EV3 and send it to the EV3 over WiFi.

      Either work with the standard LEGO Angstrom distribution or, for instance, use ev3dev. Such things are still works in progress for now, though.

      Laurens

      • baskaran

        Hi Larens,

        Thanks for publishing this great site!

        I am curious about the software requiring .NET 4.0. How does it work on Mac OS X? I know Silverlight is available for OS X. But I don’t .NET is available.

        • rikshaw76

          I am also curious about this. Would be great to be able to run it on Linux (natively), and if an OSX build exists then maybe there is some hope it could be ported to Linux.

  7. Zaid

    how long does it take to empty the rechargeable battery and normal batteries?

    • That’s going to depend on many factors, such as how much you use the motors. WiFi is also going to drain your batteries quickly. And it depends on what kind of ‘normal batteries’ you use.

      With LEGO robots I think you’d just have to go rechargeable. Either the LEGO battery or high performance AA batteries. Non rechargeable batteries will be more expensive in the end and certainly worse for the environment.

  8. [...] Robot Square – The Difference Between LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition (#31313) and LEGO MINDSTORMS … [...]

  9. bazmarc

    Awesome work Laurens. You offer so much to the community. Thank You

  10. Lama-mantis

    I’ve a question about the software. Is it also possible to program my NXT with the new EV3 software? I heard something about it, but I don’t know if it really works…

  11. Carlos W

    Do you know whether there are programming blocks for 3rd party sensors?

  12. Ahmad Alkhatib

    Hello
    I got friend asking me which to buy NXT or EV3 as his first LEGO Mindstorms set
    so he is new to the mindstorms world and doesn’t know anything about it between he is saying that money is not a problem
    which one he should get first

    • bazmarc

      EV3 !! NXT has been around for almost 6years and compared to EV3 feels like a dinosaur (and i’m not even sure you can still buy it) seriously EV3 is the way to go. AND NOW the real question is: Should he get the HOME or EDUCATION version –and well– that’s what this article is all about!!! To give you all the information you need to help you decide. However if money is no object (lucky guy) then obviously he should get one Home, one EDU and one Expansion set… oh and one extra battery pack… OK that should set him off the right foot :)

      • Ahmad Alkhatib

        Thank you so much for the reply

        Well for me i didn’t tried NXT but people have build a lot with NXT and i think that it’s so awesome :)

        EV3 it’s new(3 months left) and maybe it’ll have a great feature i think :)

        and the big brick difference between NXT and EV3 is clear so that’s what he should got

        but i got problem that after few days i’ll enter a Mindstorms school and they teaching only NXT programming :( and there is a big difference between NXT software and EV3 software :( and that’s mean i won’t understand anything .. YAY

        • bazmarc

          The 2 programs look and feel a little different but how you program is very very similar — they are both LABVIEW in the background. What you learn in school will not be lost.

          • Yeah, Bazmarc summed it up nicely :)

            NXT is great for those who already have it, but if you’re just about to start with MINDSTORMS, just get the latest and greatest: EV3.

  13. cindy

    The links from this post to the NXT versions post and the NXT/EV3 compatibility post are reversed.

  14. Lama-mantis

    I can’t find the rechargeable battery in the LEGO Shop. I only can see there the NXT version, and that is out of stock. Do you know where i can buy one?

  15. Mark

    This is a great piece, but I still can’t make up my mind. I have an 8-year-old son who has taken a couple of one-week lego robotics workshops, but we’ve never owned a Mindstorms at home. If price is not an object, which of the two would you recommend starting with??

    • Hi Mark,

      I tried to stick with only the facts in this article to avoid bias.

      I do have my opinions, of course. I was thinking about writing a separate article with possible reasons to buy one set or the other. Do you think that would be helpful?

      Laurens

      • kdgjevre

        Would appreciate your opinion!

        • Ok – I’ll see if I can do an opinion article then. I’ll just put a big disclaimer on top :)

          • KristyO

            Did you ever decide to release your person opinion on which is best? I only ask since we are getting the boys this for Christmas. If we get the educational one we were thinking of getting the Homeschool Value Pack. I do not want to waste money but also do not want to have to keep buying additional parts. What are your thoughts? Thank you!

          • Hi Kristy,

            Sorry, I haven’t been able to write this down properly in an article.

            I am biased of course, but I think getting the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Home Edition, along with my book (The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book) is a good place to start.

            The Home Kit provides a lot of fun and interesting play activities (both remote control and also programming) while the book complements the kit with lots of educational activities such as learning how to build and program.

            Both kits are fine, actually, but you would need the Home Edition set if you would like to complete the projects in the book.

            Best,

            Laurens

  16. Marco

    I have terrible problems with the Ev3 Home Edition. It does not run any more on my iMac. Starts and then gets stuck. Can only be stopped through a forced stop. When the program starts it opens a huge window displaying in the middle a tiny picture of Mindstorms. In the upper left corner menu, the normal options are displayed like: SL_IMPLEMENTED_{BA0CEDD8-8BE6-4992-8B32-149BE6CB82BC}.
    The software did run, but something is disturbing proper functioning.

    Computer: iMac OS X 10.9 i7 16GB

    Please help

    • Ahmad Alkhatib

      Try it on another PC
      Download the software on any PC and try the program

      If the problem solved then the problem is from your iMac
      try removing the software and installing it once again

      If the problem didn’t solved then the problem from your brick and i can’t help you with this

      Btw i have MacBook Pro and no problems with it

    • Marco,

      For these kind of problems, please contact LEGO Technical support.

      I haven’t experienced this problem so unfortunately I can’t help.

      • Michael

        Marco,
        Wondering if you ever found a solution. I have a similar iMac and got the same error with EV3 software freezing on startup and dropdown showing a list with “SL_IMPLEMENTED_{BA0CEDD8_8BE6-4992-8B32-149BE6CB82BC}”

  17. Marco

    Ahmad,
    Thanks for your reaction. Installed already several times. I’m more or less sure that it’s the Mac, because I don’t read that much about it on the net. The brick is not involved at the moment. During startup, the software gets already stuck.
    But buying another computer as solutions..
    I hope somebody recognizes the problem and give me a clue where to look.

    Laurens,
    Thanks, I already mailed them.

    • Marco – I have seen similar performance problems when beta testing the software. They were fixed over time, so I hope they will fix this one too.

      Is the problem specific to opening one project file? Or do you get the error even when launching the software with the short cut link? Sometimes a bug in a project can cause the software to crash.

      I’m asking since I believe you said the software was working fine at first.

  18. Crimson Wife

    Thanks so much for this article! I was about to do a purchase order through my kids’ charter school for the version with the software rather than just the EV3 “core” school set. Now I’m going to download the home version of the software and use the charter stipend for the IR beacon and the IR sensor.

  19. Andrijan

    The list which tells you which bricks to buy to upgrade from education to home edition is poorly done. It suggests to buy too many bricks. because it doesnt tell you, that certain bricks are allready included just in the wrong color.

    • Yeah – I might make my own list later to take that into account. In the mean time, just use it as a reference.

      The other link lists the part count of each set next to one another. Maybe use that one to make your own list.

      • Andrijan

        I have another question… Can you give me any advice how to make profesional looking Building Instructions? Or are you yourself a skilled Instructions creator? I want to create some Robots with
        the Bricks from the EV3 set and with good Instructions People will be able to recreate them more easely.

  20. Michael

    Great article
    Thanks, just what I was looking for

  21. Andrijan

    I created another list, called intersection of 31313 and 45544. It tells you which bricks are equal in both sets (ignoring the colors). So if you create a Robot only using these bricks you will be able to build it with both sets. http://legoev3blog.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/intersection-of-lego-mindstorms-sets-45544-and-31313/

  22. Nxt7

    Hello. I would like to get into coding for the EV3, but how would you get a programming language like Java?

  23. Alex

    This is great information. Thanks for putting it together. It seems to me that with the home edition, kids can get started quickly with fun builds. But for the long run, is the educational edition better with the added software features and the ability to extend more easily? I’d very much like to hear about your opinion to choose one way versus the other. My son is 10 and this will be his first mindstorms kit.

    • Hi Alex,

      Yes, I think what you say sounds about right. The home edition is has more ‘instant fun’. This can be a good thing, to spark interest initially. Playing with the remote control is fun (Education set does not have one). You can always buy the extra sensors later.

      To make things a bit more complicated, I’m writing a book that covers only the home edition, and books can be a great addition.

      Note that even though the Education software has a few more features, for home use it’s not really worth the extra $100 in my opinion.

      Laurens

      • Alex

        Thank you so much for the reply. I’ll start with the home edition and get the extra sensors later on. I look forward to starting the fun projects with my son. Hope to see your books on the shelf soon!

  24. Salvo

    Hi Laurens,

    thank you very much for this useful article.I’ve been saving for an ev3 set for a while now but I still haven’t found the best cost-efficient solution to my desires. The thing is that I already have a nice arrange of technic bricks that dates back to two or three years ago.. How much of a difference would buying the expansion set maketo my building possibilities?

    • If you already have a lot of LEGO Technic elements, maybe you’ll simply want the EV3 set with the most electronic elements, which is the Education set.

  25. Arturo

    Thanks for your great help, aclaraste me huge doubts but I opened again, I want to get into the world of robotics and I would like to start with lego but I offer two completely different kits , one gives me fun and I love it , but the other Apparently has helped me to learn more , my question is if in my case I better buy the Home version or the educational version , because from the beginning I wanted the homemade version and buy the set of educational version expancion Can I give the same result? o I ‘d better buy the educational version? , I can not decide , in my country I can only get the home version and I would like to have the best possible experience, that I will continue with my previous plan? I work? or fight for the educational version that certainly falls short because it has less piesas software and is just the expancion realemnte useful ? or I get the home version , I could also use the expancion ? , according to their experience with earlier versions of lego you really thinks that in my case the best , it would be interesting to tell me the Cadre who will be creating the book, Thanks

    forgive me for my English

    • Honestly, both of the sets are great, so if only the Home Edition is available to you, just go for that one :)

      • Arturo

        If I get the educational version of the software, what could also use it to set “Home edition”? Does the package expancion I could run the “set HOME EDITION”?

        • I’m not sure I understand your question, but you can use any version of the software you like. The EV3 brick in both sets is identical.

          But the Home Edition software is free, so I’d say the choice is easy :)

  26. Ahmad Alkhatib

    i have the eve home edition
    can i get the expansion set ?
    because every body saying that the expansion set is only for the education set
    but i want it for the home edition
    what is the problem here ?

    • Sure, the expansion set is a great addition to the Home Edition, because it contains a lot of useful LEGO Technic parts.

      However, you cannot build the robots from the building instructions of the Expansion set, because they use some elements from the Education Core set too.

      Think of it as a useful resource pack for your own creations.

      • Peter

        Is it possible to build from the Expansion Set Building Instructions, if I have the additional items like the Ultrasonic Sensor and the Gyroscopic Sensor? Are there still (additional) certain Technic building elements that is required?

        Thanks!

  27. Patrick

    Great work Laurens!
    I’m about to buy one set so what do you PERSONNALY recommend to buy for me and my kid (I want to teach him programming as well)
    Regards

    • Hi Patrick,

      I think both versions are great for teaching in a home environment, since they have the same EV3 programmable brick and essentially the same software.

      The Home Edition has the added fun of the remote control and the cool-factor of the models you can build out of the box, which is great for many kids (they just love the snake robot).

      I think that this set makes it possible to make the transition from ‘play’ to ‘serious play’ quite smoothly. In the example of the snake, you can start with remote control, and later actually make it autonomous with a real program.

      Have fun :)

      Laurens

  28. evanholcomb@gmail.com

    Laurens,

    First of all, thank you for all the information provided on this page. I found you comparison and breakdown of the differences very helpful in making a decision.

    I decided to go with the EV3 Education/Core set mostly due to the inclusion of the $60 rechargeable battery, which now comes with a charge cord. My son, currently in 4th grade recently participated in his 1st “First Lego League” Competitions, and while he really enjoyed the experience, since his schools lego club was more an after school acticity, he did not get to learn the building and programming components as much as he would have liked. He already had a technic set, so discounting color, using your helpful chart and the list of parts from his technic set, I was able to secure an order of lego pieces to make the difference between the Home Edition and the Core Set. Although, that shipment is not due to arrive for another week. I did opt out of purchasing an IR remote and IR sensor, given the bluetooth potential with an app on a smartphone/tablet/ipod “might” serve the same purpose when building home edition models with just the ultrasonic sensors instead of the IR sensor.

    I do have some specific questions to ask if you don’t mind helping me out here. I am looking for instructions to build a few of the core set models, namely “gyro boy” and the “puppy”. I am wondering if the Student Software is required to get directions for building these? The Lego Education retailer website for the United States seems to offer the site software purchase with a download option, but buying the individidual liscensce for $99 seems restricted to shipment.

    Second, after installing the Home Edition software and downloading the suggested gyro and ultrasonic modules needed for making the core set compenents more compatible with the home edition software…I did not see how to load these two add-ons into the home edition program. Is there a guide for doing this that you are aware of?

    Third, do you know of a good guide for creating custom configuration control setup with the bluetooth “commander” applications? Also, what are your thoughts on building a home edition model with just the ultrasonic sensor instead of the IR sensor?

    Fourth, There was mention that the bulk added to the power brick when using the recargeable battery pack instead of the AA batteries, may conflict with building some of the home editions models. Do you know from of any specific models which would not work with the added thicknees created when using the rechareable battery pack?

    Thanks for reading and any additional insight you can provide on these circumstances.

    -Evan

    • Hi Evan,

      You can find the instructions for the Puppy and the other Education Core set models on this page (link). I was not allowed to share the program files, but I’m working on my own program for a balancing robot that will work for Gyroboy.

      You can install those blocks in the Home Edition software by going to ‘Tools’, and selecting ‘import blocks’. Then you’ll be prompted to select the downloaded files.

      The infrared sensor basically has three functions. It can detect approximate distance, it can detect which button on the infrared remote you press, and it can detect the direction and signal strength of the remote. This can be used to create a robot that follows the infrared remote.

      I found the commander app quite limited when it comes to creating a customized remote control. For example, you cannot make the robot run a specific task when you trigger a button. (This can be done with the infrared remote and a program.)

      The ultrasonic sensor is much more accurate for distance sensing, but the infrared sensor is a bit more versatile depending on which features you’ll use. I’m covering all of these features in my upcoming book.

      The rechargeable battery does not fit in the TRACK3R robot (but you can just build the Educator vehicle), but it seems to fit in all of the other official models. I think it fits in most of the bonus models as well. The battery is just one LEGO unit thicker, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The robots in my book fit the battery pack as well.

      Best,

      Laurens

  29. Scott Arthur

    Great article. I just wanted to double-check one point. Will the brick definitely work fine with standard rechargable batteries?

    Best wishes from Edinburgh.

    Scott

    • Hi Scott,

      Yes, the brick works with standard rechargeable batteries. Robots consume a lot of power, so it’s probably a good idea to pick batteries with a high rating (mAh).

      I’m using these batteries. (UK Link). I bought 12 batteries (already had an old charger) so that I can charge one set while I use the other.

      It’s a bit of an investment, but ultimately it’s cheaper and easier than using non rechargeables. The advantage of regular recheargeables is that you can also use them for LEGO Power Functions, if you have any.

      I haven’t done any performance tests, though. These batteries work fine for me but many others should work fine too.

      Laurens

  30. Dan O

    Will the EV3 work with any Wi-fi adapter, such that I could use a micro N adapter like the one that you linked to @ Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036R9XRU/) in your above?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    • Hi Dan,

      It works only with the Netgear N150 I linked to above. The LEGO firmware that runs on the brick that supports just this one. Hopefully future official firmwares have support for more dongles. (Experienced Linux users are already creating firmware versions with support for more dongles).

      Laurens

      • Dan O

        Hi Laurens,
        Your link for the Netgear N150 shows two different products on the same page: 1) N150, the full-size usb stick style and 2) N150 Micro, the micro style. That’s why I was curious if the micro version would work, since this would be much less likely to impede robot movements.

        I’m mainly trying to figure out how to “easily” be able to remote control the EV3 via Wi-fi (or Blue tooth) dongle (any ready-to-use, no Linux programming knowledge) + Android tablet and the Lego Commander app ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lego.mindstorms.robotcommander). I need to set this up for my 9 yr. old son, so he can use it.

        Thanks,
        Dan

        • Hi Dan,

          I’m sorry if I’ve been unclear. You need the big one: see picture. Unfortunately, that’s the only one that works right now.

          I prefer to use Bluetooth, though. That dongle plugs into your PC, so that it doesn’t take up any space in your robot. It also consumes less battery and it’s easier to set up.

          The EV3 brick has built-in bluetooth, so you should be able to use your Android tablet already.

          I’m covering this in more detail in my upcoming book.

          Laurens

          • Dan O

            Hi Laurens,
            Thanks again for a quick reply. I was checking the Wi-fi method, since the tablet I have does not have BT built-in. I still need to check to see if the tablet will allow me to add BT. If so, I’ll go this route.

            Cheers,
            Dan

          • Hi Dan,

            But WiFi cannot be used for remote control – only programming. And the programming software does not run on tablets.

  31. Dan O

    One other thing that I’m curious about is whether to do the teacher or student install with my education $100 license. I won’t be running a classroom, so teacher is not necessary but I want to get the most out of the software, so I thought maybe this would be the best route.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    • I haven’t tried this, so I don’t know about the exact differences. I think it should be possible to install and uninstall it later so you could try both.

  32. Hussy.k

    which one is better lego ev3 or nxt 2.0
    which one has a variety of building more things.

  33. Nag

    Very good article.. I am in the process of buying one for my son who has started to show interest in robotics (12 years) and was debating between home vs education vs core set EV3 Core Set Product ID: W5003400. The main difference between education and core set looks like it is software. Can I use the home software or would u recommend to buy the education (cost is extra $100).

  34. Stephane

    Very good article (dito). Personally, I plan to buy the education version + parts to be able to build the 31313 models too and it’s my first Mindstoms lego set.
    By the way, it costs a lot more than a single 31313 box because we have to buy a education software to have the default programs for the educations models if I understood well. I don’t know when I will buy all this because of the cost.
    Just to share, Education version + expansion set + charger + software for a single PC = 655€ here in France, and then I have to compute the missing parts of 31313 when you have 45544 + 45560; but probably around 100€ to add.

    With all this (and lot of money), all models around EV3 can be build.
    Do you have a better path to this target + programs at a lower cost?

    And of source, I wait for your opinion article on this choice like probably many people here :)

    Regards,
    Stephane

    • Hi Stephane,

      While that would be great if you have that money to spare, I’d say you can do a lot of things with just one set. You can always expand later if you like.

      At that price, you can almost buy two complete sets. Maybe start out with the Home Edition (and my book :))and see if you want the other one later? By that time you’ll have programming experience so you can program the other robots, too.

      Best,

      Laurens

      • Stephane

        Hi Laurens,

        You are right, I could just buy the Home set but let me explain what pushes me to consider the Education one despite of the cost.

        I am 38y old, I am IT Architect and I love programming. I have 2 children:
        - A 7y old son who loves playing lego with the 15kg 80″ lego I have (with all building instructions). He is able to build his city sets 4203 and 31008 without problem. He also loves minecraft, plays a lot with redstone and is creative at building things on this game.
        - A 9y old girl whom I managed to teach some algorithms with Scratch (simple graphic programming) and who understood buildcaft + industrial craft automation in minecraft quite well. But she is unable to build a lego set, mainly because she is fed-up after less than 30 minutes.

        I think about teaching my children the robotic matter with the EV3. Maybe also play with a Raspberry PI as a 2nd controller brick :)

        By the way I ear you. If you say I should start with the Home edition, then I will consider this lower cost path. And of course your book will be on my desk when available ;)

        Regards,
        Stephane

        • Hi Stephane

          I would argue that both sets are equally educational when it comes to programming, because they use the same EV3 brick and the software is nearly the same. Since your kids have an IT architect as their guide, I’m sure they’ll be able to learn quickly :)

          And since you already have a lot of LEGO, either version should work for you. If that doesn’t help, just pick the home edition for now, because it’s probably the easiest one to buy as well.

          • Stephane

            Thank you Laurens. Home edition #31313 ordered :)

            When I wrote 80″, I meant 1980′s. But my old sets like #8860 (Auto Chassis) may be a bit useful to extend it a bit until I have others current technic parts.

            If you want, I can keep you posted on my feelings and progress with my 1st Mindstorms set in a week or so, you have my e-mail I guess ;)

            Thanks,
            Stéphane

  35. Josh

    Hey Laurens thanks for putting up the instructions for the education models but how do I program the colour sorter to count and remember the order of the coloured bricks. I just can’t work it out.

    Regards Josh

  36. Raj

    I am trying to compare home edition with education version.
    For HW only they are almost same cost, i.e. home ~$350.00 and education core kit ~$340.00
    But the education version does include rechargeable battery and charger which is a must IMO and that costs ~$75.00
    Additional touch sensor is not a value to me and motors are same to compare.
    Ultrasonic sensor is comparable to IR sensor and gyro sensor is extra.
    IR remote is almost no value if you are going to be using programming mode for completions like FLL.
    You can download ultrasonic and gyro sensor programing blocks in home SW version which is free. So in other words you can do same or more with home edition SW on education HW as you can do with home edition SW on home edition HW.
    Comparison

    $350 + $75.00 for battery and charger with remote (don’t care)
    $340 with gyro sensor and extra touch sensor (don’t care)

    So in simple maths education version seems like a better deal by ~$85.00 so even if you spend ~$100.00 for expansion set it still looks like a better deal and more scalable.

    Please help me understand if I am missing something. I heard value of education version SW, but I consider that optional. As a user I am not gated by that.

    • DamonMM2000

      I completely agree that the EV3 Education Set is the better buy.

    • Raj

      Raj,
      Thanks for your comments above.
      While completing my PhD thesis “Which EV3 to buy – Home or Education” – I stumbled upon this blog and saw your cost analysis above.
      Completely agree.
      Ended up buying the Education Core + Expansion and it is totally worth it.
      Thanks,
      Raj

      BTW, Big Kudos to Laurens for this blog. Very helpful indeed.

  37. DamonMM2000

    By the way, I am also one of the people who have an EV3 book on the way. It is for the Retail Version.

  38. Stephane

    Hello,

    I did buy the 31313 home edition set and I have a LEGO giro sensor on the way to my home.
    I did build 2 models with my soon and a little help of my daughter but they are more en less toys and since my soon wanted to “program” them but found them too complex, I did an Educator Vehicle like the one in education set. After this I did a “follow the red line” and a “follow the walls” programs, my soon but also my daughter were asking me how it works and finally had a real willingness to experiment programming themselves.
    Then I could start to teach this odd graphic language (odd because of the old way you have to “let” variables to use them) and have them listening and doing their own experiments.

    I probably should have bought the education version, but this retail version works for teaching too as far as you build a simple vehicle.

    Now for my personal experiments, I wait for RobotC to be compatible with the EV3. While this labview is fine for children, I don’t like the “My blocks” stuff in which the code is “lost” and cannot be edited back, and if you don’t use these “My blocks” a simple code becomes very big.

    On another subject, I have a small question for you Laurens: :)
    I wrote a basic balancing program which I can’t test until I receive the Giro sensor. This is basically a motorTorque = deltaGiroAngle * C1 + giroAngleVelocity * C2 + deltaWheelAngle * C3 + wheelVelocity * C4. How do you proceed to estimate C1..C4?

    Stéphane

    • Hi Stephane,

      You can edit the contents of a My Block by double clicking on them. No code is lost :)

      In fact, you can add inputs (parameters) and outputs (return values), just like a C “function”.

      As to your last question – that’s not a “small” one :) Acquiring those values mathematically is quite difficult, as it requires an accurate physical description of the model, the motors, and the sensor.

      In addition, you’d need something like a PID controller to make this work. I have a program for this, but I haven’t had the time to write a tutorial for it yet :)

      Laurens

      • Stephane

        Oh my… you are right, just double-click… I feel so…, thank-you!! ;)

        Yes: a PID controller, that’s the purpose of the program.
        I plan to query the giro angle and read the motors encoders every X ms (X probably around 50) and use delta since last read as the derivative for velocity and the direct values for current position. C1..C4 are the gains. C4 will later vary to make the robot travel. I may have forgotten some parts, this is all memory from nearly 20 years ago :)

        I will be happy to read your tutorial when ready, but I hope to solve this problem myself before that, with just little help :p

        Stéphane

  39. Raj

    Home edition SW comes with some sample programs for each of the 5 standard configurations. This helps in understanding as a sample code for each of the sensor or motor.
    If I am using HOME edition SW with education version HW is there a way to get some of the sample program codes for some of the education version robots?

  40. Ian

    You have done a great job telling us about the two sets from a parts point of view, but I have always wondered about the Home vs the Educational Software, which seems to be also know as EV3-G. So tonight I bumped into this which explains the difference which to most of us is not much other than free vs $100, sooner spend the $100 on more sensors :)

    Laurens there is also a reference to you on the site.

    Keep up the great work and looking forward to the EV3-G version of the balancing robot, I am using your NXT version on my Segway and runs well the kids love to see this and have hard time trying to figure out why how it works.

    http://www.damienkee.com/home/2013/10/2/ev3-education-vs-ev3-home-software.html

  41. Danielle

    Hi, I downloaded the home edition for the EV3 and then followed your link to download the gyro sensor. But I am coming up to a problem. The are not downloading to my MacBook Pro. I have no clue what I am doing wrong. Could you please help me?
    Thanks

  42. Yehuda

    Thanks for the article.
    I’m a 28 year old student, and have experience with programming, and i want to get into the world of robotics.
    What set do you suggest?
    Yehuda.

  43. Jennifer

    Thank you so much for this information! It was just what I was looking for. My daughter is using the EV3 Education kit at school, and wants to bring some things home sometimes to work on different ideas. I downloaded the home EV3 software, but was worried about “messing up” something with her Education EV3 kit. Your clarification and info. about the expansion kits really helped.

    • Since you’re using both the Education and the Home software, you might occasionally get a pop-up message saying “please update brick’s firmware”, because both software versions want to put their own firmware on it. Fortunately, you can just ignore this message :)

  44. marr

    how to keep the robot moving inside a red colored boundary with out going out of it

  45. Fiorenzo Sainini

    Hi,
    I am a high school teacher and I would like my students to program the ev3 with c/c++.
    I have found this site “http://www.legomindstormsev3.com/” apparently providing an integrated development environment for c++, but as we try to use it nothing happens.
    Do you know this site ? Can you suggest any other way to allow programming in c the ev3 ?
    Is it possible to program the ev3 in c ?
    Thank you in advance, Fiorenzo
    appaproviding

  46. Naz

    Thank you for the article. We are in malaysia and would like to purchase a 45544 along with the expansion kit for our son’s home use. Does the 45544 come with the required software?

    Thank you Laurens

  47. Francesco

    Interesting article. I was wondering, the the education kit is completed with the extension kit, a ir sensor and ir remote, what is missing for making the robot of the home version?
    Thanks.

  48. Michael

    Hi all,

    Does anybody knows a good webshop where you can buy Lego Mindstorms bricks/parts ?

    Cheers,

    Michael

    • Kat

      You can purchase parts from LEGO Education, LEGO.com (“pick a brick”), and Bricklink. You just have to figure out if you want to purchase the parts individually or in a pack of 50-100.

  49. andreas

    how do i get both for under 600$?

  50. Charlotte

    I’m very new to the Lego’s Wedo Software and teaching some very young kids in the neighborhood (1st – 4th grade). I can see that many are mastering the sets and ready for the next challeng. Thinking we will be ready for the EV3 soon. We were considering buying some Technic and Power Function sets first.

    My question, Can the PowerFunction pieces be used/or useful in Mindstorm creations?

    Your blog is extremely helpful! Even to those of us without a technical background. Just a mom trying to get young children excited about engineering & science. Separately, my girls want to know when will Lego come out with a prettier Mindstorm Robot? “Not everyone wants to build a black, gray,& red creature.” See what the Friends line started? So if you have any pull, let them know we’re waiting.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Charlotte,

      Thanks for your comment. If you have a power function infrared receiver (normally used with the remote control), you can expand your EV3 set with this device (link). According to the HiTechnic website, it also works with EV3.

      The sensor lets you send commands from the EV3 to the Power Functions receiver so that you can control the motors connected to it from your EV3 program. (The receiver simply thinks someone is pressing buttons on the remote control.)

      I agree with you that the EV3 seems to be marketed mainly to young boys. If this is a concern, you might want to consider getting the Education Core set discussed in this article, which seems to be a bit more gender neutral.

      On the other hand, it depends a bit on what you want to build. I use the EV3 Home Edition for my upcoming book, but I tried to design the robot projects in such a way that anyone would have fun creating them. For instance, I didn’t include the shooter or the red ‘mohawk’ on the humanoid robot on the cover. Instead, after the reader has learned to make it walk, he or she is encouraged to create a program to make it interactive and lifelike by showing ‘emotions.’

  51. Brian

    Thank you for this article. It is very well written and answered all of the questions I had about the sets.

  52. mike

    hello laurens

    i want to know that what do you is better the home version or the education version and if i buy the home version what do i need to upgrade for the education version.

    thanks

  53. pete preston

    How do you get the nxt sound sensor to work with ev3 home edition? The Lego store people said it would work but no icon shows up when the software is running. Do you have to load a driver or upgrade?

  54. roy

    Where can i buy additional parts when i decide to upgrade to both education and expansion set? Can you buy parts individually or as a full set???

  55. c yim

    Hi Laurens

    Do you know if I can connect two identical sensors to the same ev3 block? For example, if I connect two touch sensors to the same ev3 block would it be supported? The reason why I am asking this is the instruction manual states that “The software cannot distinguish between two identical sensors or motors” (page 15 in the mindstorms documentation).

    Any insight on this is appreciated, thank you.

    /cheung

    • Hi Cheung,

      Do you want to connect two of the same sensors to the same EV3 brick? For example, connect a Touch Sensor to input port 1, and another Touch Sensor to input port 2?

      This is perfectly possible. When programmming, you can choose which sensor should trigger a particular action.

      Laurens

  56. Jabbix

    Hi!
    What about minimum hardware requirements from official site.
    Education EV3 set:
    - 1 GB ram
    - 1 GHz processor or faster
    - Minimal supported screen resolution—1024*600
    - At Least 1.5 GB of Available Hard Disk space

    and Home EV3 set:

    - Dual core processor 2.0 GHz or better.
    - 2GB of RAM or more.
    - 2GB of available hard-disk space.
    - XGA display (1024 x 768).

    and you sayin that min processor is dual core 2.5 GHz.
    I’m little bit confused now :)

    • Hi Jabbix,

      That’s a good point. Honestly, I don’t know what the real values are. I quoted my information from a document that came installed with the software.

      The EV3 Education and EV3 Home Edition use nearly identical sofware. Certainly the system requirements shouldn’t be that much different. Maybe it’s the marketing department who came up with those numbers, trying to make it more “accessible” for schools with low-end computers?

      My advice is to download the free EV3 Home Edition software and install it to see if it runs well. Try to place some programming blocks on the screen to see how smooth that experience is.

      If this works fine, then the Education EV3 software should run fine as well.

      Laurens

      • Jabbix

        Thanks for you quick reply.
        I’m trying to buy some computers for my school. I will use education set with official software. Unfortunately, I can’t test it before I will make purchase. Until I have read your post I was 100% sure that I will make it with Intel Core Duo 2.4 GHZ and 4GB DDR3 memory. I have to look for more users reviews on internet maybe I will find more info.

  57. Jabbix

    Laurens,

    I have followed your advice and I installed EV3 software on my old computer – 2.0 GHZ Core Duo and 4GB of memory. I tried to move some blocks and some other stuff. Everything runs smoothly, I didn’t have any problems so I think that with 2,4 GHZ everything gonna be ok.

  58. […] Un articolo molto dettagliato e ben curato che mostra le differenze tra i due set (il 45544 edu. e il 31313 ret.) lo potete trovare in lingua inglese su Robot Square. […]

  59. Patrick D.

    What to do, do make it working on a surface tablet (windows RT)?
    Best regards,

  60. Ian

    You will definitely need a machine that runs at 2.1 GHz or faster, for years I had been running NXT G on my Acer netbooks with no problems other than changing the screen res. I was able successfully run my 1.6 GHz netbooks with 4G of ram using XP with some success but the 1.0 GHZ netbooks just couldn’t do it. I tried several different laptops a few months back to see how they worked, I found great deal on small 1.8GHZ machines but with Windows 8 they were slower than the 1,6 GHZ netbooks. I did call LEGO EV3 Support and wasn’t given any helpful answers other than use what works for you, the tech there was running on a machine that was 2.0GHZ plus. This summer I will be running both my LENOVO 2.1 GHZ machines with 2G of ram using windows 7 and my 1.6 GHZ netbooks to see how it goes. On a positive note EV3 is smoother, fast downloads and lots of very useful features. There was new firmware update in June and some new upgrades the educational software version, haven’t tried them yet so it would be nice to get some feedback on this updates.

  61. Risha

    Does anybody know if I can use the ultrasonic sensor instead of the infrared sensor in builds(the builds are not remote control)?
    By the way great article Laurens!

    • Good question. It’s possible. The shape of the Ultrasonic Sensor is the same as the shape of the Infrared Sensor in terms of size and connectors.

      Only the ‘eyes’ are shaped slightly differently, but that doesn’t affect the way it’s built into a robot.

  62. Bryan

    I live in Canada. Lego is apparently restricted in mailing or selling the ev3 in Canada. How come? Is there any process I can use to get this set? Thanks in advance.

  63. Ian

    I live in Canada and there is no problem getting EV3 Home or Educational sets. If you want to get the the Home kit order it from the LEGO website but make sure you set the region to Canada (shipping is free, I just checked and they are available, if your looking for the Educational kit you will have to go to one of LEGO’s Canadian Educational stores, this can info can be found on the LEGO website or by calling LEGO Service to find out to call. Spectrum in Ontario is one and B and B School Supplies in Quebec is another.

    Hope this helps.

  64. Maureen

    Hi Laurens, Thanks so much for such an exhaustive description of the new Lego Mindstorms! We have the NXT Education 9797 with the extra parts bin 9695 and the Simple and Powered Machines 9686. We’d like to get the new EV3 and I think I’ve decided to get the Home Edition and purchase your new book from the publisher. :) I’m wondering about the software. Should I keep the software for the NXT on the laptop and just download the new software for the EV3 and keep both on the laptop? One won’t mess the other up, will it? I did read where you said you could keep both the HomeEdition and the Education edition of the software for the EV3 on the same computer (If you have both) and choose between them. Also, you say to download the free software first (for the ev3) to see if it works on your computer, but without a EV3 brick how do you know if it works? Should I just remove the NXT software? Will we ever use it again? Thanks – Maureen

    • Hi Maureen,

      That’s awesome, thanks for your support (you can use discount code DISCOVER at the publisher’s website by the way.)

      It’s safe to keep both the NXT and EV3 sofware on one computer. This shouldn’t cause any conflict. You can also program your NXT brick with the new EV3 software, so you may end up not using the old NXT software at all anymore. Keeping it won’t hurt though.

      For more information about NXT and EV3 compatibility, see the link at the top of this article. You can still use most of your NXT components with EV3, for even bigger robots.

      If the installation of the EV3 software runs successfully, and you can place programming blocks on the screen without problems, I think you’ll be fine. However, in your case you can even test it with an NXT brick :)

      Best,

      Laurens

  65. MJ

    We’re in the USA and thinking of getting an EV3 home set (#31313).
    Is there any difference/advantage between buying it from amazon versus buying it from the lego store (or anywhere else)?
    Thanks!

  66. Roberto Furutani

    Hello,
    I bought your book, I liked so much. Congratulations!
    One question: NXT sensor also works with EV3 set?

    thank you.

  67. […] en de Mindstorms EV3 45544 voor het onderwijs. Het gebruik van beide sets kan echter ook prima omgedraaid worden: de 31313 op scholen en 45544 voor […]

  68. Jye Wang

    Hi, your website contains wealth of info. thanks for your effort. I am a father who is trying to figure out whether to buy EV3 home edition for my 6th grade son. He has no experience with robot building whatsoever but I have seen him building big Star War kits without problem. Is EV3 a good beginner’s kit? Or are there any more entry-level kit from Lego you will recommend me buying him for Christmas gift? Don’t want to give him something that can be frustrating.

    Thanks for any insight!

    Jye

    • Hi Jye,

      Thanks for your comment. I wrote another article here with some more considerations about choosing between the sets. As you’ll read in the article, I think the EV3 Home Set will be the better choice for you and your son, because there is also the possibility to really ‘play’ with the robots.

      Do keep in mind that even though your son has quite some building experience, programming is a different kind of task. (That’s why the set is rated 10+).

      However, if you start working on programming the robots together, it can be a lot of fun.

      You can also use my book (EV3 Discovery Book) as a guide to get started building and programming. It assumes no prior experience with building or programming robots, and you’ll learn the ins and outs of the EV3 system while you build several robot projects and complete the challenges.

      Best,

      Laurens

  69. […] PDF File Name: Robot square – the difference between lego mindstorms ev3 Source: robotsquare.com » DOWNLOAD « […]

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