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The newly announced LEGO Mindstorms EV3 sets for home and education have some differences, but it isn't clear to me what they are, specifically. It seems that have different sensors, perhaps different exotic pieces (like a remote or caster wheel) and possibly slightly different software. Granted, the sets have not been released, but, what do we know about that is different in the two sets?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Both sets include an EV3 intelligent brick.


The Retail (Home) edition (set 31313) includes:

  • 2 large motors, 1 small
  • 1 touch, 1 color, 1 infrared proximity , 1 remote IR beacon

EV3 Retail Hardware

The Education set includes:

  • 2 large motors, 1 small
  • 2 touch, 1 color, 1 Ultrasonic with red LED, 1 Gyro
  • 1 rechargeable battery (battery charger sold separately)

EV3 Education Hardware


The software for the education version is sold separately to the core set. As well as the programming software, includes datalogging tools, and a firmware version that allows on-brick datalogging.

There is also a difference regarding sensor support: only the education version provide blocks to manage ultrasonic and gyro sensors included in that version. NXT temperature sensor and Energy meter are supported too. And of course, models being different between edu and retail versions, the building instructions that are included in the software are different.


Each edition includes different Technic bricks and instructions for different robots. You can find a list of those robots at the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Comparison project, and product pictures on Robot Square.


The EV3 Expansion Set adds many Technic bricks for even more robots and is suitable as an upgrade for both sets. However, to build all robots officially published by LEGO for either set you need to buy additional parts in any case.

The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Comparison project on GitHub lists all parts in a spread sheet, tells you which pieces are missing from "education + expansion" to "retail + expansion" and vice-versa, so you can find out which parts (numbers + names) to order in addition.

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Do we know if the retail set comes with a castor wheel? – Clinton Blackmore Jan 10 '13 at 22:32
I believe that the education kit will come with a rechargeable battery. – Clinton Blackmore Jan 10 '13 at 22:44
Ah. I think the link to Robot Square you want is: – Clinton Blackmore Jan 10 '13 at 22:49
You're right about the rechargeable battery (I forget to mention it). I've updated the link to Robot Square, thanks – shea Jan 10 '13 at 23:04
I think the caster is the right-most piece in the diagram of the educational set. Building casters for the NXT was a real pain, so I'm hoping that both sets include it! – Clinton Blackmore Jan 10 '13 at 23:43

There are differences between EV3 Education and Home set including software, hardware and parts.


A slight difference is in the firmware that comes with on-board datalogging capabilities only for Education version


The retail version includes a small amount of components compared with educational set, components that include one small motor, 2 large motors, and four sensors (touch, color, infrared proximity, and remote IR beacon). The educational set includes the castor wheel, 1 small motor, 2 large motors, 2 touch, 1 color and 1 ultrasonic sensor with red LED, 1 gyro, 1 rechargeable battery, and the possibility to download the EV3 software.


There is a difference of overall 10 elements between retail and educational versions

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There are more than 10 elements different between the two versions. A complete list of pieces comparing the two editions and the expansion set can be found in the lego-mindstorms-ev3-comparison project on GitHub. – Peterino Dec 28 '15 at 19:10

I recommend this comparison:

In the middle of the page you can see a table with differences: LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 and the home version of LEGO Mindstorms EV3

And at the bottom: LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set, LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 expansion Set, and the home version of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Set - with bricks list

Direct links:

Brickset (check Parts tab):

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Main link of this answer now unfortunately dangling (404). – Peterino Dec 28 '15 at 19:04
@Peterino - the link is now fixed. – rafalmag Dec 29 '15 at 0:57

I received my EV3 educational kit last week. Yes, it comes with the a rechargeable battery, battery charger, the castor wheel, and a code that permits me to download the EV3 software. It is disappointing that the educational kit does NOT come with the infra red sensor or IR remote. Also the educational set comes with approximately 500 more technic bricks than the retail version.

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My education core set did not contain a charger or a software download link. If you have a link to download the software, can you help send it to me or post. Thanks – user2922 Aug 30 '13 at 3:31
I am planning to buy one for myself( age: 25+) , I am gonna buy it for first time and education set looks more appealing to me ( Gyro, 2 touch and more parts). Please suggest which one I should buy then – DevC Nov 12 '13 at 11:54
Edu set comes with fewer technic pieces (not "500 more") than the retail version. – apricot Mar 20 at 21:56

protected by Community Nov 18 '13 at 21:27

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