What Is A Lego Mindstorms EV3 Core Set

I am a big supporter of a Lego company – I try to buy as much Lego sets as possible ( not hundreds per year – maybe ten per year) and show support to Lego. That is so because Lego thought me a lot in a past when I was a kid playing with legos. A lot of knowledge provided by Lego play stayed with me in my life, and now having small children I try to present them legos so they could become huge fans of a Lego.

I write mostly about STEM toys in my articles – I support toys that bring knowledge to children. I wrote about what is a STEM toy in one of my articles, and if you want to read it, please do, just click on the link below and it will take you to an article.

What is a STEM toy

So in this article I am going to talk about what is a Lego mindstorms ev3 core set. I wrote a review of a Lego mindstorms ev3 home edition, so if you want to have a little of knowledge about the first ev3 set, you are welcome to read it, just click the link below and it will take you an article.

Lego Mindstorms EV3 review

What Is A Lego Mindstorms EV3 Core Set

Price: 450 $

Best place to buy: AMAZON

Age: 6+

My rating: 7 out of 10

Lego mindstorms ev3 core set is a set of Lego technic pieces, and “smart” bricks, sensors and motors, that you can build different robots, vehicles etc. But that is just first phase, the second phase, after assembling a mode you have chosen, you can program a mode ( a robot, vehicle,.) with a PC/MAC or IOS/ANDROID with different commands to do things you want to.

That is a simple explanation, but that is not all. Lego mindstorms ev3 core set or Lego education mindstorms was created for schools, to teach students basics of designing and programming a robot or something else.

But since 2017 core set can be bought by all consumers.

Lego mindstorms ev3 home edition set on the other hand was manufactured for home use – it lacks of some additional pieces and coupled of “smart” bricks.

What Is In The Box?

There are numerous different parts in the set, so Let’s say a “robot” could be built and run.

The set itself is like Lego education set – it is a sturdy storage box ( not carton box) and has a sorting tray in. Motors, sensors and EV3 brick come as indecent or in its own little box. Technic parts come in plastic bags like all Legos do.

EV3 smart brick is a computer which you program and give commands and is a necessary if you want to run and give commands to a robot you built.

What is in the box:

  • 540 pieces
  • One EV3 brick
  • Two large motors
  • One medium motor
  • Two touch sensors
  • One ultrasonic sensor
  • One gyro sensor
  • Seven connector cables
  • One USB cable for programming
  • One rechargeable battery
  • One charger ( optional)
  • Curriculum pack with 48 step-by-step tutorials to master basic and advanced designs and programming

If we take Lego mindstorms home edition for comparison, core set has extra:

  • Touch sensor ( home edition has only one)
  • Ultrasonic sensor ( home edition doesn’t have one)
  • Gyro sensor ( home edition doesn’t have one )
  • Rechargeable battery and optional charger ( home edition doesn’t have any of those)

Home edition has one thing that core set doesn’t have – an IR sensor (infra-red) and an IR remote. But one thing is there though – IR and IR remote in home edition is something you really don’t need – IR these days is really unnecessary because you have Bluetooth and range of an IR is just a meter or two, Bluetooth on the other hand has coupled of meters range.

Home edition has about 60 more parts than core set, but if you have other Lego sets ( what I believe you do), I don’t think that that fact is a problem.

These extra parts that core set has cost a lot of money – if you compare a price of a core set to home edition set – it is probably cheaper to buy a core set than buying home edition set and buy extra “pricey” parts.

EV3 Software

EV3 software is available if you have either home edition or core set. It is free to download, and you can have either on a PC/MAC or ANDROID/IOS. I have to put a disclaimer – APP for ANDROID/IOS is more simple to handle, but has limitations due to the fact that touch screen smart device can not compare to a PC in programming and coding.

Programming in this software is very easy for anyone – it is a drag and drop coding. That means you drag and drop icons into a line to form several commands for a robot. Simple as that.

There is one more thing to add – set itself has instructions for some modes, EV3 software has a lot of instructions, step-by-step like all Lego instructions are – why bother printing 20 or more different instructions and put them into a box, if you can have instructions on your PC or tablet, and a fear of loosing them is unnecessary.

PROS:

  • Sturdy box
  • Sorting tray
  • Great software easy to understand and handle
  • Easy programming and coding
  • Number of modes you can build and program
  • Great STEM toy. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • If you have some spare technic parts form Technic sets, you can use them with this set as well
  • Age limitations are for 6 and above – great approach for children to educate them about science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • Lego brand is just the best there is

CONS:

  • Very expensive – price is about 450 $
  • Software has minor bugs and errors – it could irritate you
  • If you want to own mindstorms set, it is probably the best to have home edition one, except if you are going to build and rebuild, program and code, a lot – than extra parts will come handy

Conclusion

The main con is a price – it is very expensive, I mean it is a great Lego set, it is great for children to learn, build and everything, but not a lot of people can afford to pay that price. But overall it is a great set, programming is very fun and it is not overwhelming with some data you really don’t know. Just build, code and run.

If you have nay questions or a comment, please write me in the comment section below, and I will be glad to reply.

Cheers,

Primoz P.

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