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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 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 5v Arduino compatibles (contact us for details)

Get the pre-assembled shield, download the easy-to-use Arduino libraries, check out the examples, and start building!

See it in action!

Reading a color sensor when a button is pressed

We have many more video examples with code and instructions.

Parts used

The the shield uses a custom-designed 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 header pins.

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


The Bricktronics Shield is sold pre-assembled and tested. It uses standard male pin headers to connect the shield with the Arduino. Due to component height, it is not possible to stack another shield on top of the Bricktronics Shield. 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 Shield 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 need more power than can be supplied by a USB cable. You typically want about 600 mA per motor, and up to 1000 mA peak per motor. Our 9 volt 2000 mA wall adapter works great, but any 2.1mm center-positive 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 also have mounting plates to attach your Arduino and battery pack to LEGO Technic rods.

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 download 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.