Third-party sensors: a list of NXT compatible manufacturers

Wednesday 25 November 2009
popularity : 100%

Following the article on the review of some sensors HiTechnic, comments and questions make me think that few are aware of the possibility offered by third party companies, to buy sensors or interfaces developed specifically for the LEGO NXT brick, or compatible. Here is a draft of answer as a list of products currently available, and their manufacturers.


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  • NXT Acceleration / Tilt Sensor*: contains a three axis accelerometer that measures acceleration in three axes, x, y and z. Acceleration is measured in the range of -2g to +2g with scaling of approximately 200 counts per g.
  • NXT Color Sensor V2*: operates by using a single white LED to illuminate the target and analyzes the color components (RGB) of the light reflected by the target’s surface and calculates a Color Number.
  • NXT Compass Sensor*: contains a digital magnetic compass that measures the earth’s magnetic field and calculates a heading angle (in °)
  • NXT EOPD*: uses an internal light source to detect the presence of a target or determine changes in distance to a target.
  • NXT Gyro Sensor: contains a single axis gyroscopic sensor that detects rotation and returns a value representing the number of degrees per second of rotation(in °/s)
  • NXT IRLink Sensor: uses Infrared signals to communicate with trains, Power Functions Motor controller and the Mindstorms RCX .
  • NXT IRReceiver Sensor: decodes commands from a Power Functions Remote Control and your NXT program can use the commands to directly control NXT motors or to control other functions in your program.
  • NXT IRSeeker V2: is a multi-element infrared detector that detects infrared signals from sources such as the HiTechnic IRBall soccer ball, infrared remote controls (TV or PF remotes) and sunlight.
  • HiTechnic Infrared Electronic Ball: is perfect for playing robot soccer or as an infrared beacon for your robot to find. The well balanced ball contains 20 infrared LEDs giving full signal coverage and is accredited by the RoboCup Jr Technical Committee (cf. IRSeeker)
  • IR Beacon: The IR Beacon for the FTC Hot Shot game generates Infrared (IR) signals to assist in target alignment. The IR Beacon signals can be accurately detected with the HiTechnic IRSeeker sensor.
  • HiTechnic Experimenter’s Kit: contains everything you need to create your own sensors and electronic circuits that can be controlled with NXT programs.
    • NXT Prototype Board - Solderable
    • NXT Prototyping Sensor Kit
    • NXT Solderless Prototype Board Differents versions of the Kit, with or without Solderless Prototype Board , or electronic components.
  • HiTechnic Sensor Multiplexer: extends your NXT and adds extra functionality by allowing up to 4 sensors to be connected to one NXT sensor port.
  • NXT Touch Sensor Multiplexer: has 4 input ports where NXT Touch Sensors can be attached and a single output port to connect to the NXT. The state of each Touch Sensor can be read independently and a single read can determine the state of each touch sensor.
  • NXT Extended Connector Cable Set: contains four cables in total, two cables shorter than the standard Mindstorms cables and two cables longer than the standard Mindstorms cables.

* These sensors have been tested in the article on the review of some sensors HiTechnic


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  • NXTCam-v2: This vision subsystem tracks upto 8 colored objects. It reports coordinates of each object to NXT. Can also be connected to a PC on USB port.
  • NXTSumoEyes: is designed to detect objects upto 12"(30cm). This sensor is capable of detecting obstacles on front-left, front-right or straight ahead. It may be used in SUMO fight to know where the enemy stand, and thus better push it off the ring ...
  • PSP-Nx-v3: interfaces to a wireless SONY Playstation 2 Controller. This controller has two analog joysticks and 16 buttons, using this interface, values of all 16 buttons and joysticks can be read by the NXT over the wireless link.
    • PSP-Nx Combo: Combo with the wireless PS2 controler.
  • NXTLineLeader: is an array of 8 sensors with controlled light source, returning you values of the sensor readings. Your program can then decide if you wish to follow line with it or do something else.
  • ACCL-Nx-v3: is a 3 axis digital accelerometer designed for Lego Mindstorms NXT. This sensor works at 4 different sensitivity levels of gravity (2.5g, 3.3g, 6.7g, 10.0g).
  • Realtime Clock for NXT: This Realtime Clock for NXT has standard NXT socket to connect, and is battery backed up for upto 10 years. It counts Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Date of the Month, Month, Day of the week, and Year with Leap-Year Compensation
  • PPS35-Nx-v2: This sensor is extremely useful for those who use LEGO pneumatics with NXT. It measures pressures from 0 to 35 PSI (0 to 240 kg/cm²).
  • DIST-Nx-Long-v2: Detects obstacles between 20cm to 150cm, provides reading directly in millimeters via I2C.
    • DIST-Nx-Medium-v2: Same, from 10 to 80 cm
    • DIST-Nx-Short-v2: Same, from 4 to 30 cm
  • NXTServo-v2: allows you to control speed and position of upto 8 RC servo motors (Any RC servo motor with "1500 µS neutral" specifications or mini/micro RC servos) using commands sent from NXT. You can use 90° or 180° or continuous rotation RC servos.his battery holder is designed for use with NXTServo. It has NXT compatible mounting holes to integrate it into your NXT contraption easily.
  • HS311 RC Servo with mounting kit for NXT: This kit contains a medium duty servo motor (HS311), mounting plates, horn plates and mounting hardware to integrate it with your NXT contraptions.
  • HS311 Continuous Rotation RC Servo with mounting kit for NXT: KThis kit contains a medium duty Continuous Rotation RC Servo Motor (HS311), mounting plates, horn plates and mounting hardware to integrate it with your NXT contraptions.
  • NXT Based Human Interface Device: Using this device you can send HID input events (such as keyboard key presses) to host computer. These events can be received by any program that can run on your PC.
  • RXMux: RXMux allows you to connects upto 4 RCX style sensors to NXT.
  • MTRMX-Nx: Specially designed for NXT, medium power motor driver to support upto 4 LEGO motors.
  • PFMate: This controller is designed to be a compact controller for PF Motors using IR communications through PF receivers.
  • Magic Wand Kit: based onPhilippe Hurbain`s Design, as described in book ’Extreme NXT’. Make your words appear in the air!
  • Sensor building kit for NXT with PCF8591 IC: is an ideal platform for you to design and build your own Analog device. The kit comes with all the necessary parts to do Input/Outputs with NXT brick.
  • Sensor building kit for NXT with PCF8574 IC: This kit is an ideal platform for you to design and build your own digital sensor. The kit comes with all the necessary parts to do Input/Outputs with NXT brick.
  • Port Splitter for NXT: This port splitter allows you to split a port into 3, and connect upto 3 devices. It can be used for a sensor as well as motor port. I2C sensors must have different I2C addresses on the bus (Note that LEGO sensors and HiTechnic’s sensors share the same address!).
  • PNG - 23.5 kb Ball Caster: This ball Caster comes with two balls, one plastic and one metal. You can use one of the balls based on your intended application.
  • FLEX-Nx: Ribbon like thin and flexible cable
    • Short Length Flexi-Cables for NXT: short cables
    • Custom Cut Flexi-Cables for NXT: Upto 1 meter in length custom cut Flexi-Cables for NXT.
  • NXT Compatible (male) Plugs - 10 pack ou 100 pack:
  • NXT Compatible (female) Sockets - 5 pack ou 110 pack:


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  • RFID Sensor: will allow users, for example, to protect their programs, so you can only start it with an individual key transponder. There is also an unlimited flexibility to program different actions upon identification of different transponders. An additional kit can be ordered with 10 additional keyfob transponders, enlarging possibilities.

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  • NXT Sensor Adapter: Interface to connect to the NXT a wide sensors range build by Vernier, a well known actor in education and industrial measurement. For example, here is a list of compatible sensors:
    • Accelerometer (±25g, ±5g)
    • Barometer (0.8 to 1.05 atm)
    • Charge Sensor (±0.5V, ±2V, ±10V)
    • Colorimeter
    • Conductivity Probe
    • Current Probe (±0.6 A)
    • Differential Voltage Probe (±6V)
    • Dissolved Oxygen Sensor
    • Dual-Range Force Sensor (±10N, ±50N)
    • Electrode Amplifier (pH)
    • Extra Long Temperature Probe (30m, -50°C to 150°C)
    • Stainless Steel Temperature Probe (-40 to 135°C)
    • Surface Temperature Sensor (-25 to 125°C)
    • Flow Rate Sensor
    • Force Plate
    • Gas Pressure Sensor
    • Hand Dynamometer
    • Instrumentation Amplifier
    • Light Sensor
    • Magnetic Field Sensor
    • O2 Gas Sensor
    • ORP Sensor (-450 to +1100 mV)
    • pH Sensor (0 to 14)
    • Relative Humidity Sensor(0 to 95% (± 5%))
    • Salinity Sensor (0 to 50 ppt)
    • Soil Moisture Sensor (0 to 45%)
    • Sound Level Meter (35dB to 90 dB, 75dB to 130 dB)
    • Thermocouple type-K (-200 to 1400˚C)
    • Turbidity Sensor
    • UVA Sensor
    • UVB Sensor

LEGO Education

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  • NXT Temperature Sensor: The new temperature sensor corrects the defects of the old version, namely:
    • I2C interface, artefact-free measurement,
    • Cable 50cm long, sealed at the sensor to avoid problems due to the proximity of liquid
    • metal probe sealed and shielded, allowing the immersion of the probe (not of the sensor ...)
    • Best resolution (12 bits), giving a maximum resolution of 0.0625 ° C
    • Best measuring range (-40 to 125 ° C, but LEGO recommends -20 to 110 ° C), enough to measure the temperature of ice and boiling water.

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POB Technology

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  • Dual-POB: The Dual-POB is a card with different connectors to build a robot with materials that are not always compatible, for example: the LEGO NXT brick and RC servos. POB provides Mindstorms blocks to use all possibilities of Input / Output of the Dual-POB with the NXT.

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  • POB-Bridge: The POB-Bridge is a card dedicated to LEGO Mindstorms NXT. It can be a bridge between your robotic LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics and hardware (sensors, LEDs, POB-Eye). POB provides Mindstorms blocks to use all possibilities of Input / Output of the POB-Bridge with the NXT. The POB-Bridge allows you to:
    • Acquire the value of 5 analog inputs.
    • Command/acquire 8 digital inputs / outputs.
    • Communicate with Serial Port.
    • Connect a POB-Eye to recognize shapes.

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  1. Switch
  2. Power connector (6V to 12V)
  3. 4 digital inputs / outputs (5V TTL)
  4. NXT Connector
  5. 4 digital inputs / outputs (5V TTL)
  6. Serial
  7. 5 Analog Inputs
  8. Microchip ICD2 programming Connector
  9. POB-Eye Connector

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  • POB-Eye II: The board loads a CMOS camera with a 60MHz programmable micro-controller, which allows you to create your own vision algorithms. The primitive shape recognition are present in native and open C, C, Java, Basic and RISBEE (dedicated language).

Note: the use of POB-Eye II requires a Dual-POB or a POB-Bridge.

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  • NXT air pressure sensor: lets your robot know how much pressure is in it’s pneumatic system.
  • NXT Motion sensor: is a Passive InfraRed sensor (PIR) for the Lego Mindstorms NXT system. It senses motion of a warm object, like a person or animal.
  • NXT IR Flame sensor: detects Infrared light, which is also called radiated heat. The heat may be produced by a candle, the sun, or a light bulb.
  • UV Flame sensor*: The UV Flame sensor detects candle flame and other sources of Ultraviolet light..
  • Force sensor*: lets your Lego Mindstorms RCX or NXT measure how hard something is pushing or squeezing.
  • Relay*: A relay is an electric switch (2A/48V)controlled by an electromagnet. You can use a relay to turn on electrical devices that do not attach directly to your RCX...

* Those Techno-stuff sensors required, and have been tested with the NXT Conversion Cable, as they were designed for the old RCX mindstorms kits

Holonomic Wheel

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These are wheels that have two degrees of freedom, one in the direction of travel (rotates around its axis, normal), and the second around the "tire" (as if it was permanently on ice). A small explanation of these strange wheel, and other.

These wheels are very good caster, those who want to engage in the creation of holonomic robots, will have to make some math

  • R76-4CM-ROLLER: holonomic wheel produced by acroname, available in packs of 3 or unit (see photo), and in different diameters. Requires gluing a piece of LEGO for connecting.
  • Holonomicwheel: holonomic wheel incorporating a form dedicated to LEGO, it is produced by holonomicwheel.

Well, I spent time to make this compilation, so I hope it will be useful and will give some ideas/wishes/tracks to the experimenters. Feel free to post comments.

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