Image: Education Core Set
Both versions of EV3 use the same Programmable Brick and range of sensors, but what you get in the box is different in each case. The education kit is designed for classroom use and learning, while the focus of the home kit is building cool robots that you can control and have lots of fun with. Clearly kids will be learning lots at home and having fun using EV3 at school, but the focus is different.
The education kit, as you would expect, is targeted towards use in the classroom. It has companion STEM education resources so that kids can work through a syllabus, learning about data collection and analysis and other STEM topics as they build and use their robots.
The home edition includes a remote control and IR receiver so kids can build remote control robots. The models that you can build with the kit demonstrate the use of the LEGO Mindstorms app which allows kids to control their robots from a smart device.
|LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Education Core||LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home Edition 31313|
|Motors||2 Large and 1 Small Servo||2 Large and 1 Small Servo|
|Sensors /Control||Color Sensor
Touch Sensor x 2
Infrared Sensor / Receiver
IR Remote Control
|Power||Rechargeable Battery Pack and Charger
(Or AA Batteries)
|Uses AA Batteries (not included) Or you can buy a rechargeable battery pack.|
(Plus more that require the Extension Set which includes more technic pieces)
GRIPP3R muscle robot
EV3RSTORM armed robot
(plus bonus models created by the user community and selected by LEGO)
|Technic Pieces||541 pieces total (including sensors etc)||550+ LEGO Technic elements|
|Software||Graphical software sold separately - includes data logging, Robot Educator learning tool and content editor for teachers. Curriculum software also available separately.||Basic graphical software included (I think.)|
|Storage||Plastic Storage Tray|
|Release Date||Ships August 1st 2013||Fall 2013|
|Price||$339.95 (single set without software)||RRP $349.99|
Both the Education and Home Editions use compatible motors, sensors and other add-ons so you can add to a basic set so you can make more models. The individual components will be available to buy so you can extend your set whatever you start with. The technic pieces included are different to support the different models that you get instructions for.
Gyro Boy (left) is a Education Core model. R3PTAR (right) is a Home Edition model.
EV3 has a new icon-based graphical environment for programming the brick from a computer. I think the basic software package is included in the Home Edition - graphical programming is listed as a feature. But it's important to note that the EV3 software is an additional cost to the Education Core set, and so is the educational curriculum. There is a home education version that bundles together the EV3 Core with the software and curriculum - it's quite expensive so probably an option for a home ed group.
Another area where the two versions differ is that the Education version includes a rechargeable power supply and charger. The Home edition uses AA batteries which are not included though you can also get the rechargeable battery as an extra. (I'm wondering whether the home version will be able to run on rechargeable AA batteries as we use loads of them.)
Sources: LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set and LEGO Mindstorms Home Edition
Buy: LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home Edition