mA is the maximum sustained current output of an adapter. Take more than that, and its components (mainly the transformer) will likely overheat/burn.
mAh is the ideal capacity of a battery. if you take that much current out of the battery, it will last for one hour. if you take half the current, it will last for two hours. under very small or very large currents, this rule fails.
there is no connection between the adapter you use for programming, and the batteries the robot uses while working. you can actually use lower capacity batteries, but you will have less fun time with your robot, that's why 1500mAh batteries are recommended.