I am looking at buying an NXT kit for our FRC team to practice learning LabVIEW (with NXT toolkit) this fall, but I haven’t been able to determine the difference between the education version and commercial version. Can someone answer this?
I used 12 education kits this summer for Camp Kennedy Space center. There is no difference in the NXTs, and elements are pretty much elements. If you go to legoeducation.com and lego.com you can see just which elements come in each kit, that is the main difference. For my camp I bought the Resource Kit as well for each kit purchased so we could get tank treads and the rocket launcher and dart, as well as more elements. If you are wanting to also use NXT-G, it does not come standard with the education kit, but does with the commercial version.
The education sets come with a nice plastic bin and includes a rechargeable battery. They have fewer LEGO pieces than the retail sets. As was mentioned, they don’t come with NXT-G if that matters to you. If building more than a simple test robot is important, then I agree you’d want to get the education resource kit in addition to the base set.
The retail set has more parts than the education set but fewer than the education set and resource kit combined. It comes with a slightly different version of NXT-G that doesn’t include support for legacy Lego sensors.
If just learning Labview is the goal, I guess it comes down to whether you’d like more Lego parts and a cardboard box with the retail kit, or fewer Lego parts, a plastic bin and a rechargeable battery with the educational set.
We bought a bunch of these last year for our lego teams - seems like the difference was that the education version you get a site license for the Mindstorm SW.
Since you won’t be using that, but whichever you like better.
With the education sets the NXT-G software is sold separately. The site license is $295 which covers all the computers at a single school or institution. A single user license is $69.00.
As mentioned previously, The Education kit has both a rechargeable battery AND the charger for it. This is a huge advantage in my opinion. The site license for the software (LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education NXT Software 1.1 and Site License is about $295. A battery and charger is about $55. This may sound like a bad trade off but actually if you are buying kits to use in a class it is a bargain.
In the long run you will WANT the rechargeable battery as it is a real hassle to purchase your own batteries and recharge them 6 batteries cost more than the software. I believe you can purchase the standard software from the LEGO site for about $10.00 (Get version 1.1) This is NOT a site license… but has no copy protection. JUST FYI… not encouraging you to use it illegally.
If you want to learn LabView… you can get the Mindstorm NXT tool kits for free but you will have to have Labview to use them…
NXT-G is actually a Labview project anyway… it utilizes the same type of programming with wires and inputs and output structure as LabView…
I think that the educational kit is a bargain… the extra parts are marginal in the retail kit… and the educational kit comes with its own box to store everything.
If you have any questions about these let me know I have been using them in my robotics class since they came out 2 years ago.