BrickDaddy

[EV3] Mindstorms EV3 Software (Education vs. Home)

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Hi All,

I want to share some information regarding the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software here. The software is available as a 120.-€ education version and as a free "home" version. When I bought the education version, I faced some issues and made some experiences which might be worth to be shared as I couldn't find the information in the www, yet:

  1. The 2 software versions are based on the same core software. The education version is enhanced with "data logging" functionality and more than 50 "training" sessions for the programming elements, sensors, etc.. One who is interested in learning to program and a starter (like my 9 yrs. old son) has a real benefit with the education version and I can say that the additional content is worth to spend some money for it.
  2. The home version is provided as download in all available languages while the education version is being sold in "market specific" language bundles. I couldn't find any official information about that, but when I bought my software in the Netherlands I got a BENELUX version key which allows me to download the software only in the languages "english", "dutch" and "french". This is somehow strange as "german" is an official language in parts of the BENELUX countries ...
    Unfortunately, one does not see this "limitation" as the EV3 education software has the same LEGO part number (2000045) in all countries and the available languages can only be seen after the activation / registration of the software.
  3. The LEGO EV3 education software is shipped as an activation key which allow to download language specific installation files from the lego education website. After the activation, the LEGO EV3 education software is registered to the user account and cannot be removed any more, which implies that it cannot be resold.
    Note: Reselling is also excluded in the license agreement. An interesting discussion if this is compatible with the European copyright laws as they generally allow reselling of "used" software.
  4. The bricks firmware is also available in a "home" and an "education" version. The education version is enhanced with a "online data logging functionality" which allows to remotely monitor (via Bluetooth/USB/WLAN) the sensor values on a computer. The source code of the firmware home version has been released by LEGO and is available via https://github.com/m...ards/ev3sources.

So, that's it for now. If someone has specific questions regarding the software versions, I will be happy to provide an answer, if possible.

Cheers,

BrickDaddy

Edited by BrickDaddy

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I almost missed this one! Great article. I will add it to the index. Thanks!

(done)

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Hello. I have a question for BrickDaddy.

I’m planning to buy the education version of the Mindstorms ev3 because I like its demonstration robots better that the ones from the home version.

So, my question is: Are the programs for these robots (I mean the ones for the core set and the expansion set) only available in the education software, or they are separated downloads that I can use with the home version software?

As sometimes I cannot explain myself: Do I have to buy the education software to build the demonstration robots for the education version? -I know the building instructions are easy, but I’m not sure about the programming.

Thank in advanced. I apologize for my English.

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Hello. I have a question for BrickDaddy.

I’m planning to buy the education version of the Mindstorms ev3 because I like its demonstration robots better that the ones from the home version.

So, my question is: Are the programs for these robots (I mean the ones for the core set and the expansion set) only available in the education software, or they are separated downloads that I can use with the home version software?

As sometimes I cannot explain myself: Do I have to buy the education software to build the demonstration robots for the education version? -I know the building instructions are easy, but I’m not sure about the programming.

Thank in advanced. I apologize for my English.

Hi if you buy the education version you can get the programs and building instructions online at Robot Square , it has all the robots .

Hope this helps, it took me some hunting to find this cause I had the same question.

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Hi if you buy the education version you can get the programs and building instructions online at Robot Square , it has all the robots .

Hope this helps, it took me some hunting to find this cause I had the same question.

Actually only the instructions. Not the programs.

As far as I know, the programs aren't publicly available.

I recommend buying the Education version anyway. It has great value for money, especially with the rechargeable battery.

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I recently went through the decision making process of which combination of mindstorms sets to get. In the end I ended up with the education set and the expansion set, but found that I did not need the software.

If you have Matlab/Simulink at home, you can program directly from Simulink (this is similar to the EV3 software but vastly more sophisticated):

http://www.mathworks.com/hardware-support/lego-mindstorms-ev3-simulink.html

I have also played around with ev3dev and python-ev3. When you realized that these alternatives exist (Simulink, ev3dev, etc.), you realize that the question of education vs. retail software becomes less relevant.

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Hello. I have a question for BrickDaddy.

I’m planning to buy the education version of the Mindstorms ev3 because I like its demonstration robots better that the ones from the home version.

So, my question is: Are the programs for these robots (I mean the ones for the core set and the expansion set) only available in the education software, or they are separated downloads that I can use with the home version software?

As sometimes I cannot explain myself: Do I have to buy the education software to build the demonstration robots for the education version? -I know the building instructions are easy, but I’m not sure about the programming.

Thank in advanced. I apologize for my English.

Sorry for my late response. For whatever reason, I don't get emails from eurobricks.com :-(

I couldn't find any resource for the programs. So, yes, one needs to buy the education software to get access to the programs. I use both versions of the software (education and retail) and the education content is worth spending some bucks as the extra content really provides additional value.

One more thing: The education software download file is named lme-ev3-...-full-setup.dmg while the retail version is called lms-ev3-...-full-setup.dmg

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It's a bit shame that education version programs are not available for home edition, but there is at-least recreation of gyro boy for EV3 home edition. Naturally gyro sensor is needed. As programming environment, you don't miss much with home edition as even it lacks data logger, you can see direct sensor values - that is enough for most cases. Rechargeable battery of education kit is definitely a nice bonus, but naturally rechargeable AA size batteries do work fine with home edition, so it's not really a issue.

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Finally I got the two versions of the software and this is my impression:

Education version comes with a clear and nice lobby. It’s a screen where all the tools and contend are organized so you know what can you do and where to go. The home version does not come with this, when you star the software it immediately displays the robots for the home edition. So, you click on any of the robots to get the instructions or you open a project to create your own program, that’s all.

The education version comes with a section called Robot Educator that is a helpful tutorial that explains the basics of programming including how to use sensors and program modules like loops, logic and flow controls. It also comes with a basic explanation about math, sound and strings modules. No advanced modules are explained. With this tutorial you get all you need to star programming by yourself. Although the tutorial and clean interfaz are definitely a plus, I am not sure if they are worth US$100

About the robots: It contains instruction for four robots that can be build with the core set and 4 more robot that need the expansion set (The Spinner Factory requires two core sets and one expansion sets).

The building instructions for robots are easy and you can find them on the Internet or you can easily recreate them, but the programs that control every robot are not as easy to find. But there are good news, the programs are basic and simple, nothing complex at all, so if you have some experience programming Mindstorms you are more than capable of writing your owns. The tricky part: The coolest robot, The Gyro Boy, is not easy at all to program, but you can find a program in the FLL forum (There’s actually a link in another reply of this post.)

From the core set robots the only ones that are worth building are the Remote Control and the GyroBoy, the Dog is lame, the Robot Arm very simple and the Colour Sorter very inefficient.

In conclusion if you are new with Mindstorms, this software is and excellent tool and a very good start. If you have some experience then you do not need the tutorial and may not want to spend 100 bucks on it, and probably you are more than capable to recreate all the robots for yourself with the exception of the Gyro Boy.

Note1: I have not tried the data logging software, which it’s probably the main characteristic of the Education Version.

Note2: The two versions do not run at the same time in Mac OS 10

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I recently went through the decision making process of which combination of mindstorms sets to get. In the end I ended up with the education set and the expansion set, but found that I did not need the software.

If you have Matlab/Simulink at home, you can program directly from Simulink (this is similar to the EV3 software but vastly more sophisticated):

http://www.mathworks...3-simulink.html

I have also played around with ev3dev and python-ev3. When you realized that these alternatives exist (Simulink, ev3dev, etc.), you realize that the question of education vs. retail software becomes less relevant.

I somehow missed this, but the option to program from Matlab definitely opens up the opportunities dramatically. Great find, thank you!

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