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?

4 Answers 4


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.

  • Do we know if the retail set comes with a castor wheel? Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 22:32
  • As far as I know, the castor wheel is just a component made up of small Technic pieces. The main part you would need is the actual small wheel, which I do not think is included in the retail set. It's hard to know at this point in time; we will have to wait until the parts list is published
    – shea
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 23:07
  • 1
    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! Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 23:43
  • I've made this post into a community wiki. Please feel free to update with new information
    – shea
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 22:10

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

  • 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
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 19:10


No Education EV3 home EV3
1 Intelligent Brick 1 1
2 Large Motor 2 2
3 Middle Motor 1 1
4 Ultrasonic Sensor 1 0
5 Touch Sensor 2 1
6 Color Sensor 1 1
7 Gyro Sensor 1 0
8 Infrared Sensor 0 1
9 IR Beacon (Infrared Remote Control) 0 1
10 Rechargeable DC Battery 1 0
11 Transformer 10V DC Option 0
12 the number of parts 541 parts 550 parts
13 tray ×


No Education EV3 home EV3
1 Lobby(the main menu of the software)
2 Programming
3 Data Logging ×
4 Contents Editor ×
5 Robot Educator △(assembly diagrams for 5 models)
6 Sound Editor
7 Image Editor

Based on this comparison: https://web.archive.org/web/20140227052442/http://www.ev-3.net/en/archives/98

Some other direct links:

Brickset (check Parts tab):

  • Main link of this answer now unfortunately dangling (404).
    – Peterino
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 19:04
  • @Peterino - the link is now fixed.
    – rafalmag
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 0:57
  • The web.archive.org link goes to a blank page for me.
    – chicks
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 17:37
  • @chicks I just checked and the link is working for me. Webarchive needs some time to retrieve old page from archive - please be patient and in case of timeout - retry.
    – rafalmag
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 22:00
  • It is working for me now. :)
    – chicks
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 22:01

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.

  • 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
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 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
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 11:54
  • Edu set comes with fewer technic pieces (not "500 more") than the retail version.
    – apricot
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 21:56

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