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FAQ LEGO Mindstorms EV3

LEGO Mindstorms EV3, NXT and EV3 Education: FAQ Robot Advance

On this page, you will find all the information you need to get started with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot, better understand the different kits and versions, and find answers to all your questions! This page will evolve, depending on the questions that many of you ask us.

Robot Advance is the official distributor in France of LEGO Education products: contact us for more information on the possibilities and use in schools or not, of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education and LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home products.

 

What's new in LEGO Mindstorms EV3

  1. What are the main evolutions of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 compared to the LEGO Mindstorms NXT?
  2. Does the LEGO Mindstorms NXT stop with the arrival of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3?
  3. What are the differences between the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit and the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education kit? 

 

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software

  1. How can I program my LEGO Mindstorms EV3?
  2. What languages are available in LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software?
  3. What are the minimum requirements to run the EV3 programming software?
  4. What are the differences between EV3 consumer software (free) and EV3 education software (sold separately)? 
  5. Can my NXT brick be programmed with EV3 software?
  6. Can my EV3 brick be programmed with NXT software? 
  7. Is it possible to create your own programming blocks for LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software (education)?
  8. Can I program my LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (all versions) with all versions of EV3 software (HOME and EDUCATION)? 
  9. Can the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 be programmed without a computer?
  10. What are the new features of LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 software compared to the NXT version? 
  11. Where can I download LEGO Mindstorms EV3 HOME software for free?
  12. Update of the LME EV3 V1.1 software

 

Compatibility LEGO Mindstorms NXT/ LEGO Mindstorms EV3

  1. Is my LEGO Mindstorms NXT hardware compatible with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3?
  2. Do LEGO Mindstorms EV3 sensors work with an NXT brick?
  3. Can my NXT brick be programmed with EV3 software?
  4. Can my EV3 brick be programmed with NXT software?
  5. Will new connection cables be needed?

 

iPad application in French available

  1. Where can I find and download the EV3 application?
  2. What are the main differences between the EV3 application and the EV3 software on the computer?
  3. Is it possible to use the programs created on the EV3 application in the EV3 software on the computer?
  4. Can I update the firmware of my EV3 brick using the EV3 application?
  5. Are there any materials provided with the EV3 application for teachers?
  6. Is the EV3 application compatible with the NXT smart brick and NXT hardware?
  7. Is the EV3 application free of charge?
  8. Why do I need an activation code to use the EV3 application?
  9. Where can I find the activation code for the EV3 application?
  10. With which support is the EV3 application compatible?
  11. Is the EV3 application also compatible with the iPhone?
  12. Can I use the official EV3 curriculum packages (design engineering projects, challenge space and science) in collaboration with the EV3 application?

 


 

What's new in LEGO Mindstorms EV3

 

1. What are the main evolutions of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 compared to the LEGO Mindstorms NXT?

The main evolutions of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 are concentrated in the intelligent EV3 brick:

  • More powerful processor
  • No more buttons, indicator lights
  • 4 engine ports (3 on the NXT brick)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • USB Host port
  • Embedded system: Linux
  • Possibility to control the smart brick from a smartphone / iOs tablet / Android

On the software side, there are many new developments to be noted. Go to the software section EV3 for more details. 

 

2. Does the LEGO Mindstorms NXT stop with the arrival of the LEGO Mindstorms EV3?

No. The LEGO Mindstorms NXT range (in its educational version only) will still be supported by LEGO Education for 2 years from the release of the EV3 (August 2013). 


3. What are the differences between the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit and the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education kit? 

 

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home Kit

 

The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (Home) kit is more oriented towards toy robots than robotics. Thus the included LEGO Technic sensors and parts are not the same as for the EV3 Education kit. The software is provided free of charge, but with all the features that may be of interest to a teacher. Finally, the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 battery is missing from the kit. 

EV3 Home Kit Sensors and Actuators

  • 2 L motors, 1 S motor
  • 1 EV3 contact sensor, 1 EV3 color sensor, 1 EV3 infrared sensor and 1 EV3 infrared beacon.

 

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education Kit

 

This kit is intended for teachers. Compared to the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home kit, it contains more LEGO technic parts, as well as a rechargeable battery (charger not included). The software is sold separately. The infrared beacon disappears in favour of an additional contact sensor, as well as a gyro sensor.  

EV3 Education Kit Sensors and Actuators

  • 2 L motors, 1 S motor
  • 2 contact sensors, 1 color sensor, 1 ultrasonic sensor and 1 gyro sensor


The construction models offered vary from one kit to another. They are included in digital format in the corresponding software. 

 


 

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software

 

1. How can I program my LEGO Mindstorms EV3?

The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is programmed using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software, HOME or EDUCATION version. It is also programmable using LabVIEW and RobotC. Thanks to its Linux firmware and large community, LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education can be opened to other programming languages. 

 

2. What languages are available in LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software? 

  • English (US/ UK)
  • Dane
  • Norwegian
  • Swede
  • German
  • Frenchman
  • Spanish language
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • German
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Arabic

 

3. What are the minimum requirements to run the EV3 programming software?

EV3 software (HOME and EDUCATION) is compatible with PCs and Macs. Below, the minimum system requirements 

  • OS (PC): Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 32bit / 64 bit. Not compatible with Windows 8 RT
  • OS (Mac): Mac OS 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
  • CPU: 1.5 GHz and higher
  • RAM: 2GB and more
  • Available hard disk space: 700 MB minimum
  • Resolution: 1024 x 760
  • USB port: 1

4. What are the differences between EV3 HOME software (free) and EV3 EDUCATION software (sold separately)?

EV3 Home software is game oriented. Programming the robot is of course possible with this software, but the other functionalities revolve around the community and playful aspect. The lobby (reception) is strongly oriented in this direction.

 

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 logiciel

 

EV3 Education software is more focused on the pedagogical aspect of the LEGO robot. The lobby is clear and simple. But it is in terms of content that it really stands out. EV3 Education software offers LEGO TPs directly integrated into the software. It also has a virtual assistant, who will guide you and your students in the discovery of robotics. It offers a data editor, allowing all text data and all kinds of media to be integrated directly into the student program. The teacher can interact with this content from his or her teacher interface. Finally, the data monitoring functionalities, but also their processing (application of mathematical formulas to a curve) and export (text file or spreadsheet). 

 

Logiciel LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education

 

5. Can my NXT brick be programmed with EV3 software?

Yes, however, once an NXT program has been imported into EV3 software, it is impossible to revert to an NXT version. 

 

6. Can my EV3 brick be programmed with NXT software?

No. Many software changes have taken place between the 2 versions, including replacing the LEGO firmware with a modified version of the Linux operating system. Programming the EV3 brick with NXT software is impossible.

 

7. Is it possible to create your own programming blocks for LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software (education)?

Yes, this feature is called "My Blocks" and is already available in the consumer EV3 software. For users creating their own hardware, an SDK will soon be available.

 

8. Can I program my LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (all versions) with all versions of the EV3 software?

Yes, programming a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is possible with both versions of the software, HOME and EDUCATION, regardless of the kit. However, some features cannot be used. For example: Robot Educator (ev3 education version software) can only be operated with a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education kit, as the consumer kit does not contain the right parts. The robot models included in each software version also require the corresponding kit.  

 

9. Can the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 be programmed without a computer?

Yes, it is possible to program the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 directly from the EV3 intelligent brick. The on-brick programming function has been significantly improved, and it is now easy to schedule basic tasks, but also to monitor data. All programs created from the EV3 smart brick can be imported into LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 software, making it easy to improve and complex an existing program.   

 

10. What are the new features of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (Education) software compared to the NXT (Education) version? 

 

The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 software (education version) brings its share of new features:

  • Content editor - A real virtual project booklet is integrated into LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education software. Students can write, insert images, sounds and videos directly from this notebook. The teacher has his own interface, to interact with all his students' project notebooks, to answer them, or to point them in a direction, all without leaving the EV3 software. 
  • Robot-Educator - 48 step-by-step tutorials to discover robotics and its basic principles with Robot Educator, your new virtual assistant.
  • Improved data logging: export function to spreadsheet, ability to store values in tables and apply formulas. Programming the robot according to the graph curves
  • Design engineering projects - Easily integrate new TPs into your courses with Design Engineering Projects! Projects to be carried out in class designed for the LEGO Mindstorms EV3, which will certainly require the mathematical and scientific knowledge of your students. 

11. Where can I download LEGO Mindstorms EV3 HOME software for free? 

You can download the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 HOME version software free of charge from official LEGO website or on the Robot-Advance server

12. Update of the LME EV3 V1.1 software: 

Bug resolution :

  •     Description of missing MyBlock fixed in the contextual help 
  •     Improved annotation on the programming web
  •     Improved support for large images in the content editor 
  •     Improved Wi-Fi support

 

New features :

  • Print Content Editor: Ability to print all content pages 
  • Block Comment: Ability to write and insert comments directly into the programming code 
  • Moving teacher remark labels: Possibility to easily move teacher notes around the content editor

 

Installing Silverlight:

  • Added an online link with troubleshooting information when corrupted detected 
  • Support Enabled for the case-sensitive Mac file system 
  • A long list of small bug fixes

 

New EV3 v1.06E firmware included 

Why are updates not done automatically?
          To enable automatic update, you must go to the Help menu and click on "Check for updates". A window appears and you must check the "activate" box.

 

Why is there no link when the window appears when an update is detected?
          This means that you are using version 1.0.0.0 of the LME EV3 software. To retrieve this link, simply go to the Lego Education website in the Mindstorms section and follow the update instructions: www.LEGOEducation.com / MINDSTORMS (find the link)

 

What is the version of the software you are using?
          To know the version of the software you are using, you must go to the Help menu and click on "About LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3". In the window that appears, you will have the version number.

 

Is it possible to install the v1.1 update without having the LME EV3 software pre-installed?
          No, the update patch v1.1 requires that the LME EV3 software is already installed.

 

Is it possible to check software updates manually?
          Yes, you must go to the Help menu and click on "Check for software updates".

 

Will all versions of my software be updated if I have installed several languages?
          No, only the active version will be updated. All other versions will be deleted.
          To reinstall them, you must go to the Lego Education website in the LERO section and access the installation files using your LERO ID or link.

 

How do I know which languages are enabled with my software?
          You must go to the Edit menu and click on "Change language". A drop-down list of installed languages appears.

Compatibility LEGO Mindstorms NXT/ LEGO Mindstorms EV3

 

1. Is my LEGO Mindstorms NXT hardware compatible with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3?

  • The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 uses the same LEGO Technic parts and RJ12 connectors as the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Education. As a result, all NXT sensors, motors and components are compatible with the EV3.
  • The battery charger is NXT/EV3 compatible.
  • The NXT rechargeable battery, on the other hand, will not be compatible with the EV3 smart brick, and vice versa.

 

2. Do LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 sensors work with an NXT brick?

No. The NXT brick is unable to read EV3 sensors. EV3 sensors are designed to communicate with the EV3 intelligent brick, whose firmware (embedded software) is now based on embedded Linux. 

 

3. Can my NXT smart brick be programmed with EV3 software?

Yes, the NXT programmable intelligent brick can be programmed from the new LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 software! However, not all the software's features are supported by the NXT intelligent brick.


4. Can my EV3 smart brick be programmed with NXT software? 

No. Differences in firmware make it impossible to program an EV3 programmable smart brick with NXT software.

 

5. Will new connection cables be needed? 

No, LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 cables are identical to NXT cables (RJ12 format).

iPad application in French available

The LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education EV3 software now includes the French application to program your robot with an iPad.

You have free access to this application if you have the LME EV3 2000045 or 2000046 software in your possession.

The code to download the App Store application can be found in LERO.

All you have to do is identify yourself and find the LME EV3 software product, then take note of this code (to be used in the App Store).

 

Click here to access the application

 

 

1. Where can I find and download the EV3 application ?

Open your iTunes account and search for "Lego Education" or "EV3". You will find several applications, just click on the one with the LEGO Education logo on it.

2. What are the main differences between the EV3 application and the EV3 software on the 

The EV3 application contains only the most commonly used programming blocks such as action and control blocks.
There is no graphical environment where you can predict, collect and analyze data from sensors.
The EV3 application contains no digital workbook or content editor where students can document their findings and teachers can edit or create content.

3. Is it possible to use the programs created on the EV3 application in the EV3 software on the computer?

Yes, even if the file format for EV3 software and EV3 application are different.
You can export the EV3 application programs for the EV3 software to the computer and continue working on it.
However, you cannot share EV3 software programs on your computer with the EV3 application.

4. Can I update the firmware of my EV3 brick using the EV3 application?

No, there is no firmware update tool in the EV3 application.
To update the firmware on your EV3 Brick, you must use the firmware update tool in the EV3 software on your computer.

5. Are there any materials provided with the EV3 application for teachers?

Yes, inside the EV3 application, there are three PDF documents that help teachers get started with LEGO Mindstorms EV3: 
- The Teacher Introduction document briefly describes the EV3 application and provides classroom management tips.
- The lesson plan provides instructions on how to launch an introductory robotics course
- The User Guide provides a general introduction to the overall EV3 concept including descriptions of all hardware components and software environments.

6. Is the EV3 application compatible with the NXT smart brick and NXT hardware?

No and yes. The EV3 application cannot communicate with the NXT Brick. However, NXT sensors and NXT motors that are used with the EV3 Brick can be programmed in the same way as EV3 sensors and motors using the application.

7. Is the EV3 application free of charge?

The EV3 application is offered as part of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 software and requires an activation code after the purchase of the software. The activation code is received when you connect to the LEGO Learning Resources Online site (www.LEGOeducation.com/LERO) when you purchase the set and the basic software.

8. Why do I need an activation code to use the EV3 application?

The EV3 application is offered as part of the EV3 Lego Mindstorms Education software as an alternative to programming using Mac and Windows based desktops.
When you purchase the EV3 software, you will have access to the EV3 activation code of the required application.

9. Where can I find the activation code for the EV3 application?

You can find it on the LEGO Learning Resources Online website (www.LEGOeducation.com/LERO) where you can also download the EV3 software.
To connect to the website, use your LEGO ID or the registration information that is provided when you purchase the EV3 software.
Click on the link in the email of the software sent with your activation code.

10. With which support is the EV3 application compatible?

The EV3 application is currently only available for Android, Apple iPads. iOS system requirements are 8 or more.

11. Is the EV3 application also compatible with the iPhone?

No, the software is designed to be a tablet experience because of the large screen size.

12. Can I use the official EV3 curriculum packages (design engineering projects, challenge space and science) in collaboration with the EV3 application?

No, none of these EV3 curriculum packages are currently compatible with the EV3 application. Many of the programming features and data logging required for program packages are currently not supported by the EV3 application.

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