Lego Mindstorms EV3

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Lego Mindstorms EV3 brick

Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the third generation robot in LEGO's LEGO Mindstorms robotics line. It is the successor to the second generation Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robot. The "EV" designation refers to the "evolution" of the NXT series. It was officially announced on January 4, 2013 and was released in stores on September 1, 2013. The education set was released on August 1 2013.[1]


The biggest change from the Lego Mindstorms NXT and NXT 2.0 to the EV3 is the technological advances in the programmable brick. The main processor of the NXT was an ARM7-based microcontroller, whereas the EV3 has an ARM9-based processor running Linux. A USB connector and Micro SD slot (up to 32GB) are new to the EV3. It comes with 5 models: EV3RSTORM, GRIPP3R, R3PTAR, SPIK3R, and TRACK3R. Lego has also released instructions online to build 12 additional models from the set; ROBODOZ3R, BANNER PRINT3R, EV3MEG, BOBB3E, MR-B3AM, RAC3 TRUCK, KRAZ3, EV3D4, EL3CTRIC GUITAR, DINOR3X, WACK3M, and EV3GAME.[2]

The EV3 Home (31313) set consists of: 1 EV3 programmable brick, 2 Large Motors, 1 Medium Motor, 1 Touch Sensor, 1 Colour Sensor, 1 Infrared Sensor, 1 Remote Control, cables, USB cable, and 585 TECHNIC elements.() [2]

The Education EV3 Core Set (45544) set consists of: 1 EV3 programmable brick, 2 Large Motors, 1 Medium Motor, 2 Touch Sensors, 1 Colour Sensor, 1 Gyroscopic Sensor, 1 Ultrasonic Sensor, cables, USB cable, 1 Rechargeable battery and many TECHNIC elements. [2]

An expansion set for the Educational Core Set, which can be bought separately, contains 853 Lego elements. However, the expansion set and the educational set combined do not contain enough components necessary to build most robots of the retail set. This contrasts with the NXT; the educational set combined with the resource set could build any of the retail designs. The EV3 educational set was released a month earlier than the retail set, on August 1 2013. Robots that can be built wth the core education set are the EV3 educator robot, the GyroBoy, the Colour Sorter, the Puppy and the Robot Arm H25. Robots that can be built with the expansion set are the Tank Bot, the Znap, the Stair Climber, the Elephant and a remote control. Another robot that can be built with a pair of core set and an expansion set is the Spinner Factory.

Comparison [2]
Monochrome LCD
178 x 128 pixels
Monochrome LCD
100 x 64 pixels
Main Processor
300 MHz
Texas Instruments
Sitara AM1808 (ARM9 core)
48 MHz Atmel
(ARM7TDMI core)
Main Memory
16 MB Flash
microSDHC Slot
256 KB Flash
USB Host Port Yes No
WiFi Optional dongle
via USB port
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connects to Apple devices Yes No


All NXT sensors, motors, and building elements work with EV3 and are recognized as NXT sensors/motors when plugged in. EV3 sensors do not work with the NXT, but EV3 motors do. The NXT brick can be programmed with the EV3 software, but lacks some software features. When you use the EV3 software to program the NXT, you must download extra programming-blocks, such as the UltraSonic sensor (which is included in the standard NXT kit, but not the standard EV3 kit). The EV3 brick cannot be programmed with the standard NXT software, but some third party software supports both systems. [3]

Known robots made with the EV3 platform[edit]

  • The Braigo is a robotic Braille printer designed by Shubham Banerjee, a 12-year-old boy from Santa Clara, California. Its low cost (US$354) is an advantage over typical Braille printers (which can cost upwards of $2000).
  • The Lego Bookreader is a digital book reader made from the EV3 kit that can digitize paper books. [4]
BrickPi Bookreader using the EV3 motors and parts to turn the pages of a book while the Raspberry Pi photographs and translates the book into text.


On the EV3 AM1808 platform, it is possible with a small hack to double the encoders resolution. Indeed, by enabling edge triggered interrupts on the encoder B line (called direction line by Lego), it is possible to have 720 increments per turn instead of 360. This enhancement allows for smoother rotation at low speed and better position control. This hack was not possible on the NXT due to a hardware limitation. More details are available here.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official EV3 Press Release
  2. ^ a b c d Official EV3 Frequently Asked Questions; Lego.
  3. ^ "LEGO MINDSTORMS® EV3 Frequently Asked Questions". The LEGO Group. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. "Q: Is EV3 backwards compatible with NXT hardware? A: Yes. You can program your NXT intelligent brick using the new EV3 software. However not all software features are supported by the NXT intelligent Brick. You cannot program your EV3 programmable brick with the NXT Software." 
  4. ^ "Lego Bookreader: Digitize Books With Mindstorms and Raspberry Pi". 
  5. ^ "Dexter Industries Sensors are EV3 Compatible". 

External links[edit]