LEGO Mindstorms EV3

LEGO Mindstorms is coming out with the third version of the LEGO Mindstorms product.

I was fortunate enough to have LEGO on my campus (home of FRC 2468 - Team Appreciate) in December to videotape my students using the new kit and software. It was a lot of fun to play with new product as well as watch the students with the new kits and software.

You can read more about it at

Here is a video of teachers in the classroom with the EV3 Kits.
The first teacher is Caroline Hansen from Colorado. She is a FLL coach as well.
The second teacher is William Church. He is currently working on his Masters Degreed at Tufts University. The students in Williams section are members of Team 2468 in one of our high school chemistry rooms.

Kits will be available in the second half of 2013.

I saw this on Engadget today and wanted to come here to post it. While I think this is very cool for FLL, I can see this helping FTC expand too. The EV3 is powered by a linux kernel which means we can run a lot more complicated programs and challenges. Very excited to see where we go with this!

As an FLL mentor, I hope they improve the software. NXT-G was so buggy, and you can’t use anything else in FLL.

What do you all think?

If they fix the random locking of the bricks during FTC play, it will be worth every cent!

The video is comically bad.

“You can program it with Linux.”

“You can even hack this thing.”

Here is another video that is from LEGO Education. It is a professional done video.

The software is much easier to use than the NXT G version. At this point, the system is not completely developed and all bugs worked out.

I think it will take some time for it to move into the FTC and FLL games. It definitely has distinct advantages over the NXT brick. I am sure that FIRST will phase it in over time.

My students (9-12th graders - all robotics students) were blown away by the kits as well as the programming software.


Really looking forward to getting a close up look at this 3rd gen system. FLL has published a paperon the release and teams can begin to use it next season. They’ve also included a FAQ which begins to answer some of the how will this be implemented type questions but it is very soon in the game to know all the answers.

The EV3 as well as the NXT (and former RCX) platforms will be allowed in FLL tournaments. Veteran teams may want to know that LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT products will be available until mid 2015.
LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 will be available to FLLteams in the fall term of 2013. A shipping date will be revealed in March 2013. USA/CAN teams may place pre-orders when team registration opens in May. Teams outside North America should check with their local dealers whether they will take pre-orders.

Do FLL® teams have to purchase the new set this up-coming season?
· Teams may choose either the EV3 or former versions of LEGO MINDSTORMS robot sets. All platforms will be allowed in FLL.
· New teams, who do not have any existing robot sets available, are advised to buy into EV3 as EV3 has a lower entry barrier (both hardware and software) than NXT.
Veteran teams may stay on any former LEGO MINDSTORMS platform or choose to move on to EV3.


Will FTC also follow along as well with FLL?



Unfortunately it will not for at least the 2013-2014 season. My guess they will switch over for the 2014-2015 season.

Look for FTC to release a statement on this same topic as well. I am a bit more in the know than the average FTC user as one would expect as an FTC Affiliate Partner but I have not seen any drafts of official language. Once they release a statement, I think you will be pleased with the path forward. FLL has just the one partner LEGO. FTC is a cooperative deal with multiple partners which means more and larger conversations. Therefor more time is needed to generate a policy and messaging.