Firmware is needed for the EV3 Brick to work. It helps communicate with the motors, sensors, WiFi and Bluetooth. Occasionally the firmware needs to be updated to fix any bugs, improve functionality or to provide new features. The Firmware Update tool helps find new versions and update your EV3 brick.
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- [Voiceover] While you're able to program the EV3 Brick to move around and sense its surroundings, there's other functionalities that are already programmed and configured into the brick. These include features such as communicating through USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, working with files, and using third-party sensors. Even the programs you've created need to be translated into something more basic for the motors and sensors to understand. The software on the brick that does this is called firmware. Firmware typically provides control, communication, and data manipulation on a device.
Without this software, the EV3 Brick will not work. In general, the firmware rarely needs to be updated or changed, but occasionally, a new version of the firmware is available to fix a bug or to provide new functionality on the brick. The Firmware Update Tool is located in the Tools menu. When it opens, it automatically tries to detect and connect to the EV3 Brick and the brick must be connected via the USB cable. I can see that it was able to detect and connect to my EV3 Brick and the firmware currently on it is version 107H.
Whenever the LEGO group has updated the firmware, it will be available online to download. To check if there's been an update, I'll click on Check. This takes me to the LEGO firmware download website. I see that the latest version is 109H, which is a later version than my current firmware, so I'll download this to my computer. By default, on Windows, the Firmware Update Tool will look in Program Files for available firmware. On a Macintosh, it will look in this location instead.
The firmware was downloaded to my Downloads folder, so I'll browse to it. I select the latest firmware and now I click on Download and the tool will update the firmware on the brick. Once it's done, the brick restarts and it can continue to use it as before. Not all firmware updates come from the LEGO group. Other users post firmware updates to help support other sensors or a different Wi-Fi dongle. Using a third-party firmware update can be risky since it can introduce other bugs or issues.
If you find yourself in this situation, you'll need to reinstall the original firmware that came with the EV3 Brick. Before installing the original firmware, I need to reset my EV3 Brick. While the brick is on, I'll hold down the back, center, and left buttons. When the screen goes blank, I release the back button and when the screen says Starting, I'll release all the buttons. Now in the Firmware Update Tool, I'll select the original firmware version which is going to be the oldest version, and click Download.
Updating the firmware on your EV3 Brick can fix bugs in the current firmware, provide new support and features, and enhance your brick's performance.
Learn how to unpack the hardware, connect to the programming interface, run prebuilt programs, and control the motors and sensors. Chapter 6, "Adding Flow to a Program," covers advanced programming topics such as transferring data between blocks, using variables to store temporary data, programming conditional logic, and looping actions to run again and again. By the end of the course, you'll have the skills to bring your own robotic creations to life.
- Installing the LEGO Mindstorms software
- Exploring the programming interface
- Connecting to the EV3 brick
- Downloading and running prebuilt programs
- Coordinating motor movement
- Calibrating the sensors
- Transferring data with data wires
- Adding logic with switch blocks
- Looping actions
- Troubleshooting problems with LEGO Mindstorms
- Broadcasting sounds and displaying images
- Updating LEGO Mindstorms