Lego Mindstorm EV3 Available September 1

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Lego Mindstorms EV3 picture by Marziah Karch

Lego announced their next generation Mindstorm robotics product back in January at CES, and I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview. This updated version is super cool. Expensive, but super cool. It has a new Linux-based operating system (which Lego is totally cool with letting you hack), and Lego will provide instructions for up to 12 different models right out of the box. There’s a better processor with an actual SD card slot, and there’s much better on-brick programming. You can chain up to four Mindstorms together, and there’s a new infrared sensor as well as significant improvements to existing sensors.

Although Lego was elusive about the exact release date in January, most guesses were initially for early spring, mid-summer. We finally, finally have a date. The retail version of the EV3 will ship on September 1 for a price of $349, but if you shop around online, you may be able to pre-order sometime this month. You could also pre-order a book on the EV3. Ahem.

The Lego Education edition (pictured above) ships today. Most people should go ahead and wait for the retail version rather than getting the education version. The education version is intended for classrooms and leaves out some of the parts (including the new infrared sensor) in exchange for a better storage case.  That’s a trade-off that makes sense if you need to store your system in a classroom, but not if you’re a home user that wants to build that really cool infrared cobra bot I saw them demo at CES.

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12 thoughts on “Lego Mindstorm EV3 Available September 1

  1. Hi, Marziah, I’ve just bought your book (pre-order) for my almost 7yo son. He’s quite smart as for his age, so I hope he’ll do his best using the EV3 and your book with my help.
    Now I know we’ll have to wait one moth more than I expected. And perhaps a bit more in Poland than you in the U.S. , I’m afraid:-(
    Wrrr!
    Thanks for your post, and for your book to come:-)

  2. Thank you! Lego says the Mindstorms set is for ages ten and up, but I think a 7 year old would be fine with a lot of adult assistance. Some of the parts are a bit hard for younger kids to get to click together. That’s true of all the Lego Technic sets, I think.

  3. Is there any information online that tells what exactly is included in the retail version vs. the educational version? I see the educational version available on the lego site, and a homeschool buyers co-op website for a $30 discount, but no information about a different (retail) version. The link on the lego site does not have a PDF file for all the included elements in the educational set. Thank you. Or do you know exactly what is extra in the retail version vs. educational version? Thank you.

    1. I’ve got both sets now. The education set doesn’t have any of the spikes, the stickers, the rubber treads, or the infrared sensor and remote. It doesn’t have the red balls and ball shooting parts (probably a blessing for the classroom.) It also doesn’t have the testing track. Instead it’s got a better plastic box for storage, treads that are pieced together (so they can be as long or short as you want), a single large ball bearing, and an ultrasonic sensor. Mine also has a rechargeable power source that can be substituted for batteries. I’m sure there are other differences, but that’s what I’ve noticed so far.

  4. Is your book really not coming out until March 2014? Also how many different builds/projects are in your book for the EV3? What is in your book that will not be in the information that you get in the EV3 Lego kit?

    Thank you.

    1. Yes. It really takes that long to get books through the publishing process. I’m just now working with the sets, so I’m having to revise some of what I’d outlined just to make sure I don’t simply repeat what you’d get with the set itself.

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