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Bricktronics Shield

Now available for purchase in the Wayne and Layne Store!

Build robots and contraptions! Experiment with mechatronics using Arduino and LEGO Mindstorms NXT!

Use the Bricktronics Shield Kit to connect up to two LEGO NXT motors and four LEGO NXT sensors to an Arduino.

  • Supports up to two LEGO NXT motors, and reading their encoders
  • Supports up to four simultaneous LEGO NXT sensors
  • Supports LEGO NXT touch sensors on all four sensor ports
  • Supports LEGO NXT 2.0 color sensor on two ports
  • Supports LEGO NXT ultrasonic sensor on two ports
  • Uses NXT cables
  • Two TIP120 transistors help you switch larger loads
  • Tested compatible with Uno and Duemilanove, but will work on many other Arduino compatibles (contact us for details)

Solder the kit, download the easy-to-use Arduino library, check out the examples, and start building!

We have a limited quantity of pre-assembled Bricktronics Shields available!

See it in action!

Reading a color sensor when a button is pressed

We have many more video examples with code and instructions.

Kit Contents

The kit contains a Bricktronics Shield printed circuit board, six custom injection-molded NXT-compatible sockets, five long jumpers, two female four-pin headers, two 0.1 uF ceramic capacitors, two TIP120s, a DPDT switch, a 6mm push button, two 100 kΩ resistors, two 1 kΩ resistors, a 100 uF electrolytic capacitor, a 10 uF electrolytic capactitor, two 1N4001 diodes, a MCP23017 I2C I/O expander, a L293D H-Bridge chip, a 28-pin DIP socket, and headers.

The contents are also listed and explained individually on the Parts List.

Options

The Bricktronics Shield can be purchased in two kit configurations–with stacking headers, or with male headers only. Stacking headers are useful when you want to combine the Bricktronics Shield with non-NXT sensors and motors. You can insert wires into the stacking headers for a temporary connection.

The male headers cost a little less–but we include an extra set of holes next to the header holes in order to make it easy to add things to later, even if you solder in the male headers.

What you need

The Bricktronics Shield Kit connects an Arduino to LEGO NXT motors and sensors. Arduino, motors, sensors and NXT cables are not included. The Mindstorms NXT 2.0 set includes three motors, two touch sensors, one color sensor, one ultrasonic sensor, and a variety of NXT cables.

Motors take more power than can be supplied by a USB cable. You typically want about 600 mA per motor, but up to 1000 mA peak per motor. Our 9V 2A wall adapter works great, but any 2.1mm 9V adapter with at least 1.3A should work. If you want to power your creations on the go, our 6 AA battery pack works well.

We have mounting plates to attach your Arduino and battery pack to LEGO Technic rods.

Build it

If you don’t buy the pre-assembled version, the Bricktronics Shield Kit is a through-hole kit. It requires basic soldering skill. At a minimum, you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, and a diagonal cutters. Clear instructions are available at the Bricktronics Shield project webpage.

It usually takes under an hour to build, but it may take more or less time depending upon your experience with soldering.

Open Source Hardware

This kit is open source hardware. We make the hardware source files like the schematic and the pcb files available for anyone to use as long as they credit us and release any modifications as open source hardware. The schematic and pcb files are available on the Bricktronics Shield download page.

Notes

A portion of the profits of this kit go to John Baichtal, an author of the Make: Lego and Arduino Projects book.

Wayne and Layne, LLC and our products are not connected to or endorsed by the LEGO Group. LEGO, Mindstorms, and NXT are trademarks of the LEGO Group.