EV3 Basic: Getting Started

Go beyond the standard Lego EV3 software with a text-based programming system with many extra functions.
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Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (251 ratings)
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54min of on-demand video
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Program the Lego EV3 robot with a text-based programmming language, EV3 Basic


  • This course is designed to suit users of either the EV3 home edition or the EV3 education edition.
  • Users are assumed to have already mastered the standard Lego EV3 software.
  • Before learning the robot-specific functions that form the EV3 extension, students should learn the basics of text-based programming. Links are included to short, free courses in Microsoft Small Basic.
  • Users will need to download and install Microsoft Small Basic and the EV3 extension (both free), as explained in the lectures.


EV3 Basic (Microsoft Small Basic with the EV3 extension) lets you control your Lego EV3 robot using a programming language that is superior to the standard Lego software in two main ways: it has many functions that are not available in the standard software and it is text-based, like the languages used by programming professionals.

This is a first course in EV3 Basic, designed simply to get you started with this language so that you can then begin writing your own programs, going beyond what is possible with the standard Lego EV3 software. Installation is easy and free, and is explained in one of the lectures. Installing EV3 Basic and running your first program should take less than an hour and I estimate that it might take 5-10 hours to work through the entire course, but as you try out the programs that appear in this course you will no doubt want to try modifying them (it's Lego after all!) so it's hard to make an accurate estimate.

Most sections have a video, a PDF lecture and quiz. Enjoy the course!

Who this course is for:

  • This course is designed to help EV3 users who have already mastered the standard Lego EV3 software to move up to the next level, a text-based programming language with many additional functions.


Teacher of physics, computer science... and robotics!
Nigel WARD
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 439 Reviews
  • 10,107 Students
  • 2 Courses

I'm British, married to a French lady and living in the south of France. I have a degree in physics from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London (currently ranked second in the world!). I'm a teacher of physics and computer science - I've taught in a number of top international schools including:

* French American International School, San Francisco
* Hong Kong International School
* German-Swiss International School, Hong Kong
* British School of Brussels
* International School of Brussels
* European School 3, Brussels
* Centre International de Valbonne, France
* International School of Sophia Antipolis, France
* ICS School, Sophia Antipolis, France

In 2013 I began including robotics in my computer science courses. The robotics classes were based on the Lego EV3 robot and went very well, but I was uncomfortable about teaching students how to program the EV3 using such a quirky (icon-based) interface. In 2015 I became aware of ways of programming the EV3 using textual programming languages like Python, arguably the most popular programming language in the world. I realized that by programming the EV3 with Python one can learn about robotics and deepen one's Python skills at the same time, and Python skills are highly valued in he workplace. Not only that , but programming the EV3 with Python is great fun!

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