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LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 FAQs

FAQs are available for: 

General EV3

EV3 Software - general, programming, data logging, robot educator, content editor

EV3 App - Windows 10

EV3 Hardware - sensor, motor, intelligent brick, battery

Bluetooth & Wifi


EV3 General Questions

What does EV3 stand for?

This is the third generation of the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education platform, and the “EV” stands for evolution.

What is an Intelligent EV3 Brick?

The EV3 Brick is a programmable intelligent Brick that controls motors and sensors as well as provides wireless communication (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®).

What comes in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set?

- A sturdy storage box and sorting tray for easy classroom management 

- Building instructions 

- Rechargeable battery 

- Ball wheel 

- Connecter cables 

- USB cable 

- LEGO Technic Elements: 541 pieces 

- Three motors and five sensors 

- One EV3 Brick 

- Two Large Motors 

- One Medium Motor 

- Two Touch Sensors 

- One Color Sensor 

- One Ultrasonic Sensor 

- One Gyro Sensor

Will all the model builds be available as PDFs?

Yes, building instructions are available as PDFs from within the MINDSTORMS EV3 Software.

Where will teachers find the BI for Expansion Set models?

Inside the EV3 Software: in the Lobby area.

 

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EV3 Software: General Questions

What new EV3 Software updates have been made?

There are many new features and improvements from NXT to EV3 Software. Some of the more noticeable are: 

> Lobby 

- New full screen Lobby to navigate through the content provided by LEGO Education, third parties, and, making sure the teaching objective is in focus. 

> Content Editor 

- Content is editable directly inside the environment, enabling customization of existing projects or creation of new ones from scratch. 

- The Content Editor provides a digital workbook for students, where they can capture their work by inserting text, images, videos, and sound, creating their own digital workbook. 

> Tighter integration between the EV3 Brick and the programming environment 

- The hardware page enables monitoring of the status and values measured by all the hardware elements. 

- Hardware elements are automatically recognized thanks to Auto ID. 

- Bluetooth configuration is facilitated by the USB-to-Bluetooth features. 

> Debugging features are now part of the programming environment 

- Execution highlight 

- Programming blocks will display a warning symbol if expected hardware by the programming block is different from the detected hardware by Auto ID. 

- Probes enable seeing the values go through the data wires. 

> New programming blocks’ possibilities 

- Simple strip programming by snapping blocks together (no need to use the beam anymore). 

- Block parameters are configured directly on blocks. 

- Read the program sequence directly on blocks. 

- Improved sequence wires facilitate showing the structure of the program and create parallel execution. 

- “Wait for change” has been added to easily create robots that behave according to change in the environment, as opposed to waiting for the threshold, which only works by comparing measured values. 

- Data wires are improved and data casting has been added to simplify data type conversion. 

- Arrays integrated in the standard blocks. 

- Loop Interruption is now possible, enabling the creation of advanced state control mechanisms. 

> Datalogging 

- Oscilloscope Mode enables live monitoring of the sensors to prepare experiments and validate setup. 

- Dataset calculation is integrated, enabling analysis of the data coming from the sensors. 

- Graph programming added; this feature enables users to create zones in the graph that will make the robot react in the physical world based on the data in the graph.

In what languages is the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software available?

US English, British English, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, 

Can you use EV3 Software on both a Macintosh and PC?

The EV3 Software can be used on both Macintosh and PC platforms to program LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks.

How do I update the EV3 Software?

Under Help at the top menu bar of the EV3 Software, you can enable the EV3 Software to automatically check for updates. By clicking Check for Software Updates, a check mark will appear and the EV3 Software will regularly check for updates. (This requires an Internet connection.) If a relevant update is available, you will be notified by the EV3 Software. If you wish to install the EV3 Software update, you will be taken to a website where you can download the update file. Once downloaded, you can install the update.

 

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EV3 Software: Programming Questions

What programming platforms can you use with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks?

Besides the EV3 Software, you can use also LabVIEW and RobotC. EV3 Software is an open-source platform, and, therefore, we anticipate the MINDSTORMS community to develop additional languages such as JAVA.

Is there EV3 Brick Programming?

Yes. We have continued and improved the EV3 Brick Programming App with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick. Students can easily program basic tasks on the EV3 Brick and also conduct basic Datalogging. All of the EV3 Brick Programs can be uploaded into the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software for continued and advanced work.

Can I program retail MINDSTORMS Hardware with my LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software and vice versa?

Yes. In theory, it is possible. However, in reality, it is difficult since the two products differ significantly. The retail software version does not include all of the programming blocks needed for the education hardware, and it does not include Datalogging or the teacher version of the Content Editor. Also, it is not possible to utilize the Robot Educator Learning Tool together with the retail set as it is not possible to build the Robot Educator model.

Will there be tools to create my own Software Programming Blocks for LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software?

Yes. For most users, the tool is called MyBlocks and is already available inside the standard EV3 Software. For people creating their own hardware, a software developer kit will be made available.

Can I program the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick using NXT Software?

No. It is not possible to program your EV3 Brick with the NXT Software.

What is the longest length of the program for onboard programming?

Sixteen blocks (excluding the Start and Loop Block).

Will there be a pdf which shows how to program both on brick and computer?

There will be a pdf User Guide which will give a short introduction to the EV3 Brick Programming App on the EV3 Brick and describe how to make a program there. For EV3 Software Programming, there will be two Quick Start videos in the Lobby which will introduce the user to programming. In addition, there will be a large number of Robot Educator Tutorials teaching how to program in the EV3 Software.

Is there a print function for the programming?

Yes.

Can one take a screenshot of the whole program?

Yes, in the Print settings, you can choose to print the entire view (all of the program(s)) or just the part of the program visible on the screen. Also, you can zoom out so that the entire program will fit within the screen.

 

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EV3 Software: Datalogging Questions

What is new about Datalogging?

Based on educator feedback, LEGO Education knew how important it was for the Datalogging functionality to be robust for technology and science classes moving forward. Therefore, we have created a whole new Datalogging environment, which is included in the education version of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software. The capabilities include: 



> Datalogging 

- Live Datalogging via the USB cable (view Live Graphs) 

- Remote live Datalogging via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (view Live Graphs) 

- Autonomous Datalogging: Log data on the EV3 Brick and upload to the EV3 Software. 

- EV3 Brick Programming Datalogging: Set up and execute Datalogging directly on the EV3 Brick. 

- Oscilloscope Mode: View sensor data as soon as connected. 



> Analysis 

- Prediction Tool: Draw or make predictions. 

- Inverse proportionality 

- Exponential 

- Sine 

- Cosine 

- Basic analysis tools: Point Analysis 

- Advanced analysis tools: Section Analysis 

- Mean 

- Median 

- Standard deviation 

- Curve fit 

- Easily export data to spreadsheets 



> Dataset calculation 

- Unique calculator interface that allows you to make calculations to datasets 

- Type in formulas 

- From Rotational counts via Speed to Acceleration 



> Graph Programming 

- Unique new LEGO Education feature 

- Execute actions based on data readings 

- Set thresholds for experiments to play sound or start motors when threshold is reached

The onboard Datalogging program: Can this be autoscaled?

The graph area in the EV3 Brick Datalog App will automatically adjust to the (full) scale of the sensor used (e.g., 0–250 for the Ultrasonic Sensor, 0–100 for the Color Sensor). It will not autoscale within this range, e.g., in case the sensor readings are only giving low values.

 

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EV3 Software: Robot Educator Questions

What is Robot Educator?

Robot Educator is the name of both the basic robot and the tutorials found in the EV3 Software. The Robot Educator is a very simple, quick-to-build robot that students will have in their hands ready to learn the basics of robotics. It is the robot that introduces the student to the world of robotics. The Robot Educator learning tool is designed to take you and your students through the essentials of programming, Datalogging, and hardware. It does so in a structured and engaging way, ensuring that everyone is constructing, programming, and experimenting within a minimum of time.

Are the Robot Educator activities EV3 Software-specific?

Yes.

Is there any added audio/text support with Robot Educator?

Robot Educator has text, animations, interactive animations that help explain programming, teacher notes, and sample programs/experiments.

Can I use the new Robot Educator learning tool for NXT?

No. The Robot Educator is optimized for LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Hardware and Software.

Is LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 backward-compatible to NXT Hardware?

Yes. You can program your NXT Brick using the new LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software. However, not all software features are supported by the NXT Brick.

 

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EV3 Software: Content Editor Questions

What is the Content Editor in the EV3 Software? How does it help educators?

The Content Editor enables educators to edit, adapt, and customize activities — or create their own from scratch. Teachers can use the Content Editor to customize lessons directly for their students’ needs or customize to the different grade levels. 



The Content Editor provides a digital workbook for students where they can capture their work by inserting text, images, videos, and sound, creating their own digital workbook. 



The workbook can easily be used for sharing and communication of end results, and, among other things, make assessment easier.

Will content editor support .MOV and .AVI files?

The Content Editor will support the following file formats, which does not include .AVI: 



- Picture: JPG, PNG 

- Video: MP4, ASF, WMV, MOV 

- Sound: MP3, WMA

Can the content in the Content Editor be printed?

Yes. This is a planned functionality in the first upgrade patch 1.1, which will be available early 2014.

Can you type in Chinese in the Content Editor?

Yes.

In the Content Editor, can you include movies? And also share files?

Video files can be integrated in the Content Editor. There is no direct sharing functionality other than sharing the project file via email, etc.

Is there a mechanism for resizing pictures?

No.

 

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EV3 Programming App Questions

What is the EV3 Programming app?

EV3 Programming is the official programming app from LEGO® Education. Using an intuitive icon-based environment, the EV3 Programming app is a simple and effective way of getting started with LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3.

Where can I find and download the EV3 Programming app?

Depending on the platform, you will be able to find the specific app on the relevant app stores (e.g. Apple App Store, Google Play, Chrome Webshop). Search for “LEGO Education” or “EV3”. You will see the MINDSTORMS logo appear as an icon for the app. 

What does the EV3 Programming app requires?

The EV3 Programming app requires the EV3 Core Set. Also, in order to update the firmware on the EV3 brick the EV3 desktop software is also needed.

Can I update my EV3 Brick firmware using the EV3 Programming app?

No, there is no firmware update tool as part of the EV3 Programming app. To update firmware on your EV3 Brick, please use the Firmware Update tool in the EV3 desktop software.

On what devices can the EV3 Programming app be used?

The EV3 app is available for Apple iPads (iOS), Android tablets and Chromebooks. For a full list of supported devices and minimum system requirements, please go to www.LEGOeducation.com/EV3TechSpecs.

What are the main differences between the EV3 tablet app and the EV3 desktop software?

The EV3 app only contains the programming blocks that are mostly frequently used which include the Action and Flow Control blocks. Also, there is no graph environment where you can predict, collect and analyze data from sensors. In addition, the EV3 app contains no digital workbook or content editor where students can document their findings and teachers can edit or create content.

Can the EV3 programs I create with the EV3 Programming app also be used in the EV3 desktop software?

Yes, they can. Even though the file format on the app and desktop software are different, you can export app programs to the desktop software and continue to work on them there. However, you cannot share EV3 programs from the desktop software with the EV3 app.

What teacher support is available with the EV3 Programming app?

Inside the EV3 Programming app, there are three PDF documents that help teachers get started with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. The Teacher Introduction document briefly describes the EV3 Programming app and provides classroom management tips. The Lesson Plan provides instructions on how to run a 9-lesson Introduction to Robotics course including different open-ended challenges and references to relevant local curriculum standards. The User Guide gives a general introduction of the overall EV3 concept including descriptions of all hardware components and software environments. Finally, the app offers six tutorials, each made up of four simple steps showing you how to build and program your robot to perform a specific task.

Is the EV3 Programming app compatible with the NXT Intelligent Brick and hardware?

The EV3 programming app cannot communicate with the NXT Brick. However, NXT sensors and motors that are used together with the EV3 Brick can be programmed the same way as the equivalent EV3 sensors and motors using the app.

Is the EV3 Programming app free?

Yes, the EV3 programming app can be downloaded free from App Store.

Is the EV3 Programming app also compatible with smartphones?

No. The app is designed to be a tablet experience because of the larger screen size.

Can I use the official EV3 curriculum packs (Design Engineering Projects, Space Challenge and Science) together with the EV3 Programming app?

From September 2016, the EV3 Design Engineering Project Curriculum will be available in a tablet format for iPads (iOS) and Android supported by the EV3 Programming app. This curriculum pack will only be available with the US curriculum material.

 

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Windows 10 & LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3

What is the difference between the two EV3 applications for Windows 10?

EV3 Lab (Windows (7, 8.1 & 10) offers a complete selection of learning possibilities with EV3. From simple and advanced programming functionalities to collecting and analyzing sensor data in an intuitive graph environment. The built-in content editor enables you to customize curriculum content and create your own, and allows students to document their work directly inside the software.

EV3 Programming (Windows 10 touch devices) provides a simple and effective platform utilizing the mobility and intuitiveness of tablets and touch devices. With a carefully selected set of features and functionality, it provides the tools you need to engage and motivate your students.

How do I install the Windows 10 application?

You have the following options:

Installer: Many schools prefer to download software as an installer to distribute and install on multiple computers using general distribution software available at the school. The EV3 application installer for Windows 10 will enable schools to easily distribute and install EV3 software.  

App store: Schools can also download the EV3 application for Windows 10 via Microsoft Store from July 1, 2017.

How do I connect to the EV3 brick?

You have two options:

Using USB

Using Bluetooth

Is my device compatible with the EV3 application for Windows 10?

Please visit LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 System Requirement to make sure your device is compatible with the EV3 application Windows 10. 


Does the installer work for network distribution?

Yes. Please check Network Installation Guide for Windows 10 for further information about network distribution

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EV3 Hardware: Sensor Questions

What LEGO sensors are available for LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3?

The following sensors are included in the Core Set: 

Two Touch Sensors, One Color Sensor, One Ultrasonic Sensor, and One Gyro Sensor. 



There are also the following sensors available: 

IR Seeker, IR Beacon, Temperature Sensor, and Renewable Energy Set as well as third-party sensors, like HiTechnic, Vernier, and DCP.

Why is there no longer a Sound Sensor?

Input from teachers using the NXT platform indicated that the sound sensor was problematic in noisy classrooms and not as relevant for STEM teaching as other sensors. Instead, we have included the new Gyro Sensor which was developed for classroom use and competition.

Will LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Sensors work with the NXT Brick?

No. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Sensors will not work with the NXT Brick.

Will a new cable connection be required?

No. LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 uses the same RJ12 connector cables as the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT Brick.

How do the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Sensors compare with the NXT Sensors?

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Sensors are completely new sensors optimized for education use, providing a better build interface, higher performance, and more accuracy than NXT Sensors.

Can LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Sensors be used together with NXT Sensors?

Yes. LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick uses the same RJ12 connector cables as the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT Brick.

Can NXT Sensors be used with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick?

Yes. LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 uses the same LEGO Technic elements and RJ12 connector cables.

Can you use WeDo Sensors with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick?

No. The connectors do not match.

 

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EV3 Hardware: Motor Questions

Which motors are included in the Core Set?

Two Large Motors, one Medium Motor.

How do the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Motors compare with the NXT Motors?

Large Motor specifications are the same as on NXT; however, the build interface is optimized for faster and more complex building possibilities. 



The Medium Motor is a completely new motor, providing new possibilities.

Are the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Motors interchangeable with the NXT Motors?

Technically, yes, but the designs of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Large Motor and the NXT Motor are different. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Large Motor allows for a better building experience.

Can LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 and NXT motors be used together?

Yes.

Can you use the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Motors with the NXT Brick?

Yes. You can use both the Large and the Medium Motor with the NXT Brick.

Can you use power-function motors with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick?

No. The connectors do not match.

What does “daisy-chain” mean?

To daisy-chain is the ability to link up to four LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks using a USB cable and thereby enabling your robot to have sixteen output ports and sixteen input ports, all controlled from the main LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick.

What does a daisy chain require?

Multiple LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks, sensors, and motors, plus additional standard USB cable for LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3.

How many LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks can I daisy-chain?

You can daisy-chain up to four LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks.

Are daisy chains supported between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

No. Daisy chains require a USB cable connection between the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks.

 

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EV3 Hardware: Intelligent Brick Questions

How is the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick different from the NXT?

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick is a completely new EV3 Brick: It’s the most powerful EV3 Brick ever created by LEGO Education. The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick is built up around a faster and stronger processor, which not only increases performance on all parameters compared to the NXT Brick but also introduces new possibilities not available with NXT.

Will the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick and NXT Brick use the same firmware?

No.

 

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EV3 Hardware: Battery Questions

What are the charge times and conditions for the rechargeable battery?

The same as MINDSTORMS NXT. The full charge time is four hours and requires a LEGO DC charger (product 8887).

Can you exchange the batteries between the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick and the NXT Brick?

No, but the charger is the same between the two platforms, and you can therefore reuse your current charger.

What are my battery options? AA vs. lithium vs. rechargeables

Recommended use is either AA alkaline batteries or a LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 rechargeable battery.

Will there be an upgrade/conversion kit from NXT to LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3?

No, but the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 solution offers backward compatibility to NXT. You can therefore use your NXT solution together with EV3 Bricks in many situations. 



However, if you want the full benefit of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 solution, you will need to transition to EV3 Bricks.

 

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EV3 Bluetooth Questions

What can Bluetooth in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick be used for?

The Bluetooth allows for communication to the programming environment or for EV3 Brick-to-Brick communication.

Why use a USB cable to connect the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick to the computer when there is Bluetooth communication?

USB connection is faster, and some PCs do not have Bluetooth.

Can LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks be daisy-chained through Bluetooth?

No. A daisy chain uses the USB cable to connect EV3 Bricks.

What is the difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth serve different purposes. Bluetooth is for close-range communication between two devices. Wi-Fi is for network communication on a wider range, requires a Wi-Fi access point–router, and will consume more battery power than Bluetooth.

What does “made for iPod, iPhone and iPad” mean?

The Bluetooth communication on the EV3 will support the same protocol that iOS devices use, e.g., you can communicate with iPod, iPhone and iPad. (That is not possible in the NXT Brick).

 

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EV3 Wi-Fi Questions

What can Wi-Fi with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick be used for?

The Wi-Fi feature can be used for communication from the EV3 Brick to the programming environment. A Wi-Fi dongle must be connected to the USB host port of the EV3 Brick. The following two dongles are verified to work, NETGEAR N150 WNA1100 and Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n. These are available to purchase from major electrical retailers. Other Wi-Fi dongles may also be compatible with the EV3 Brick.

Why use a USB cable to connect the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Brick to the computer when there is Wi-Fi communication?

The USB connection is faster, and some classrooms are not equipped with Wi-Fi. The battery will last longer if the Wi-Fi is turned off.

Can LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Bricks be daisy-chained through Wi-Fi?

No. A daisy chain uses the USB cable to connect EV3 Bricks.

Is a router needed?

Yes. If you want to use Wi-Fi, a router is needed.

Is Wi-Fi better than Bluetooth?

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth serve different purposes. Bluetooth is for close-range communication between two devices. Wi-Fi is for network communication on a wider range and will consume more battery power than Bluetooth.

 

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