Instruction Guide: EV3 - Firmware

In this Lesson we have 3 Primary Instruction Resources:

  1. The 1st resource, EV3 Hardware, Software, Firmware PPT, walks the students thru the difference between hardware, software, and firmware.
  2. The 2nd resource is the EV3 Trainer video on firmware.
  3. The 3rd resource,  Walk thru Downloading EV3 Firmware ppt is a slide presentation the reviews what was presented in resource 2.


Resource 1:

Walk through EV3 Hardware, Software, Firmware PPT with students

Slide 1

  • Hardware is the physical, tangible pieces
    • Anything you can see or touch
  • Software is the instructions given to the hardware by the user (student)
    • The programs the students will write
  • Firmware is the instructions given to the hardware by the manufacturer (LEGO® MINDSTORMS®)
    • Most of these instructions are not visible or accessible by the students
      • These hidden instructions tell the EV3 what to do when it is turned on and how to interpret the programs that the students will write
    • Some Firmware features are accessible to the user.  Port View is an example of a firmware program that is available to users.

Slide 2

  • Remind students the EV3 Flash memory is located in the chips inside the EV3 Brick
  • This slide will be updated with a current picture of  'Inside' EV3 when we are able to find one

Slide 3

  • The EV3 Flash memory is 16MB (Megabytes) in size...
    • CD quality music is roughly 1MB (Megabyte) per minute
    • EV3 Flash Memory would only hold about 16 minutes of CD quality music
    • This is 64 times more memory than the NXT

Slide 4

  • You can have the students change the name of their Brick. Where they see EV3, have them type in a new name
  • Current version of firmware can be seen here.
    • Later we will have instructions to update to the most current version of firmware
  • If you click on the Memory Browser Button, it will take the students to the Memory Browser screen which allows students to see the projects and programs that are stored on the Brick. This will include their own projects and programs

Slide 5

  • This screen allows students to manage their Projects and Programs
  • Note that the Free Storage is much less than 16MB. The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® firmware that is hidden from the user takes up the remainder of the Flash Memory.

Slide 6

  • Notice that when you Click on Applications it shows a list of all Applications on the Brick that is attached to that computer. What do remember about the Port View application?


Resource 2:

EV3 Trainer has a lesson that discusses downloading the Firmware to the EV3 brick. The

Basic > Getting Started

  • Getting Started 2: discusses downloading the Firmware to the EV3 Brick.

EV3 Trainer Teacher's Guide references this video on page16.


Resource 3:

If you would like additional coverage of this topic, use the following ppt from the Differentiated Instructional Material (Extended) from this Lesson:

Walk thru Downloading EV3 Firmware ppt.

Slide 1

Why? Firmware is the software that is inside the EV3 Brick. Without its firmware, the EV3 Brick will not work. LEGO may release new versions of the firmware that add enhanced functions or fix software bugs. You can have the latest technology and improve your EV3 Brick’s performance and reliability by updating your EV3 Brick’s firmware to the most recent version. 

           If your EV3 Brick stops working, it may re- to stall the firmware that shipped with your product.

         Check your EV3 Brick batteries before reinstalling firmware. Problems may simply be due to worn-down batteries.

You will need to reset your EV3 Brick before proceeding with re-installation. See "Troubleshooting" in the printed User Guide for help on resetting your EV3 Brick.

Slide 2 & Slide 3

This is the Download procedure. This only needs to be done if you do not have the current version of the Firmware.

The download can ONLY be done with a USB cable.