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 Megashield Kit to connect up to six LEGO NXT motors and four LEGO NXT sensors to an Arduino Mega.
- Supports driving up to six 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 sensors on all four sensor ports
- Supports LEGO NXT ultrasonic sensors on all four sensor ports
- Uses standard LEGO NXT cables
- Tested compatible with the Arduino Mega 2560, but should work on many other Arduino compatibles
Solder the kit (or get it pre-assembled), download the easy-to-use Arduino library, check out the examples, and start building!
We now have pre-assembled Bricktronics Megashields available in our store!
The kit contains a Bricktronics Megashield printed circuit board, ten custom injection-molded NXT-compatible sockets, a 2.1mm DC power supply socket, eight jumpers, three 0.1 uF ceramic capacitors, a 6mm reset pushbutton, six 100 kΩ resistors, three 100 uF electrolytic capacitors, three 10 uF electrolytic capactitors, three L293D H-Bridge motor-driver chips, one PTC over-current protection fuse, and headers.
The contents are also listed and explained individually on the Parts List.
The Bricktronics Megashield can be purchased in two kit configurations–either pre-assembled and tested, or as a DIY soldering kit. Either configuration uses standard male pin headers to connect the shield with the Arduino Mega. Due to component height and orientation (the motor cables would collide with the stacking pins), it is not possible to stack another shield on top of the Bricktronics Megashield. The shield includes an extra set of holes next to the main header pin holes, which can be used with a set of female header pins to plug in non-LEGO motors and sensors.
What you need
The Bricktronics Megashield Kit connects an Arduino Mega 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 (USB is limited to 500 mA maximum). The LEGO NXT motors typically need about 600 mA each, but under heavy loads can require up to 1000 mA peak per motor. Our 9V 2A wall adapter works great for a couple motors, but any 2.1mm 9V adapter with sufficient current should work. Driving 5 or 6 motors with heavy loads will require a beefy power supply on the order of 3-5 amps. 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.
If you don’t buy the pre-assembled version, the Bricktronics Megashield Kit is a through-hole soldering kit. It requires basic soldering skills. At a minimum, you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, and a diagonal cutters. Clear instructions are available at the Bricktronics Megashield 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 Downloads page.
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.