The New LEGO Mindstorms ‘EV3’ Announced    Send article as PDF   
The third generation of LEGO’s programmable robotics platform, the ‘EV3’ has been shown at the Los Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show. The EV3 is aimed at both enthusiasts, young and old, and educators. The EV3 has a long list of new features that add speed and power, intelligent programing, and more ways to communicate with the robots.

Lego expects to begin selling the EV3, which includes 594 Technic pieces that can be used to make five different robots, at a retail cost of US$350. The EV3 Kit will also include instructions for 12 additional robots at launch in mid 2013.

LEGO Mindstorms 'EV3' Programmable Brick

The EV3 system is powered by an “Intelligent Brick” that has an ARM9 processor, embedded 16 MB of Flash memory, 64MB of RAM, plus an SD expansion slot. The Linux operating system is at its core, and the brick has USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ports that would let you connect up to four other bricks. Out of the box, the EV3 is compatible with iOS and Android, letting you control robots with your phones or tablets.


On the hardware side, there are 3 interactive servo motors, 2 touch sensors, and an infrared beacon that can control the robot remotely from up to 6 feet away. Lego Mindstorms says an improved color sensor can detect the presence of 6 colors, or, for that matter, the absence of color. The system is backwards compatible with previous generation Lego Mindstorms NXT Sensors and Add-ons.

  • Stronger and faster ARM9 robotic processor
  • Embedded 16MB FLASH memory
  • 64 MB RAM plus SD expansion slot
  • LINUX operating system, released under open source
  • USB 2.0 interface allows for WiFi connectivity
  • 4 input ports: Connect up to 4 sensors at the same time, including your NXT sensors
  • 4 output ports: Now you can power up to 4 motors (Either Large, Medium or NXT)
  • Up to four intelligent bricks to be connected together
  • Bluetooth ® v2.1
  • iOS and Android compatible


Intelligent Brick Comparison:

Atmel 32-Bit ARM AT91SAM7S256
48 MHz
16 MB Flash
Atmel 8-Bit AVR, ATmega48
8 MHz
512 Byte RAM
Operating System
Proprietary Linux-based
Sensor ports
Digital: 9600 bit/s (IIC)
Digital, up to 460.8 Kbit/s (UART)
Motor ports
3, with encoders 4, with encoders
USB Communication
Full speed (12 Mbit/s) High speed (480 Mbit/s)
USB Host
n/a Daisy-chain ( 3 levels)
WiFi dongle USB Storage
n/a Micro SD-Card Reader, can
handle up to 32 GB
Communication with Smart devices
Android Apple
4 Buttons 6 Buttons with Backlight,
handy for debugging and
LCD Matrix, monochrome
100 x 64 Pixel
LCD Matrix, monochrome
178 x 128 Pixel
USB 2.0
Bluetooth v2.1DER
USB 2.0 (To talk with PC)
USB 1.1 (for daisy-chaining)
LEGO Mindstorms ‘EV3? Kit

LEGO has developed a strong relationship with the enthusiast community, has and even turned to users to help figure out how the platform could best be used. LEGO knows there is still intense interest in their Robotics platform. And with Mindstorms EV3, a new generation of children, and plenty more adults are likely to become immersed in personal robotics. And as it did with NXT Kit, LEGO once again turned to its users to help develop EV3.


The new EV3 appears to have many of the attributes that I have wished for. Time to get saving….

Colour Sorter

Bin Collector

EV3 Kit


View LEGO’s MINDSTORMS® EV3 Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

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