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I bought the Mindstorms NXT for my son's coming birthday and I noticed that there are several places you can get third party parts to use with it (sensors, connectors, etc). Are these safe for the NXT brick? Has anyone had any problems using these?

If they are ok it's a great way to expand our capability but NXT is a big investment and we don't want to risk ruining it.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The majority of sensors manufactured by HiTechnic (a third party company) are certified by The Lego Group. The company's website lists the following criteria required to be certified:

  • 100% compatible with Mindstorms NXT
  • Meet the highest LEGO quality standards
  • Comply with all safety standards
  • RoHs Compliant (certified lead free)

These sensors are manufactured by HiTechnic and approved by Lego are sold in the Lego.com Shop:

  • #2852724 Accelerometer
  • #10285 Compass
  • #2852726 Gyroscopic
  • #2855040 IR (Infrared) Receiver
  • #2852725 IR Seeker
  • #2853216 IR Link

Sensors and custom parts are generally expensive. The sensors above range from $54.99-$49.99 so it would be worthwhile considering the value of the sensor before you decide to make a purchase.

I would recommend judging the sensor(s) by their expected frequency of use, the potential for sensors to be used in other creations and their level of experience with the Mindstorms NXT system.

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Thank you, it's good to know HiTechnic is certified by LEGO. Are they the only third party company certified by LEGO, or is it standardized that if you make NXT compatible parts you have to be certified by LEGO? –  Lynnea Taylor Nov 27 '12 at 22:48
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@LynneaTaylor As far as I'm aware HiTechnic is the only certified manufacturer for Lego NXT Sensor products. –  Ambo100 Nov 28 '12 at 16:56
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