LEGO Group announced the next Mindstorms version, the EV3 which will be available in the Fall, 2013.

Does anyone know if the new version, specifically the controller, will be backwards compatible with the NXT 2.0 sensors and motors?

I'm assuming all of the other parts are standard Technics parts and should inter-operate without a problem.


The LEGO Group have advertised the EV3's excellent backwards compatibility with NXT.

As the cables are the same, the EV3 will work with NXT sensors, motors and, of course, LEGO Technic bricks. RCX sensors will work with the aid of converter cables.

Software designed for programming the NXT will not work for the EV3 as the NXT runs firmware, but the EV3 runs Linux. However, the graphical software that ships with the kit will be able to program older bricks.

From the official EV3 FAQ:

Q: Can NXT sensors and motors be used with the EV3 P-brick?
A: Yes. LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 uses the same LEGO® TECHNIC elements and RJ12 connector cables as the MINDSTORMS® NXT, so all your existing sensors, motors and building elements will work with the new platform, and the software will recognize them as NXT sensors/motors when they are plugged in.

  • do you have a link for LEGO Group's statement of backwards compatibility with NXT? – user1262 Jan 19 '13 at 12:58
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    I do not think that TLG have actually announced it on their website, but all of the articles on tech blogs say so. (The tech blogs have received their info from LEGO's announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.) This guy who was invited by LEGO to beta test the new product says so on his blog – shea Jan 19 '13 at 21:31
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    Ah, LEGO have just released an EV3 FAQ page that confirms these facts – shea Jan 24 '13 at 9:37
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    Also, have a look at this article on Robot Square about EV3 and NXT compadibility. – shea Jul 16 '13 at 23:37

The EV3 will run old sensors, motors, and lego bricks. I am sure it will run NXT 2.0 and NXT 1.0 motors, sensors, and etc. but not sure for RCX.


Some parts will be compatible with the EV version while others aren't. You can see a complete list with compatible parts in this article http://www.intorobotics.com/building-robots-lego-mindstorms-ev3-features-programming/.


This is not true in my experience! The NXT touch sensor is not detected by my EV3 with the latest firmware. I have tried the NXT touch sensor on the EV3 and it is NOT compatible. Since I have a few of these and really want to use them on my EV3 I investigated it further. The NXT sensor switch connects a 2k2 resistor between pins 1 and 3, with all other pins unconnected. The EV3 sensor is much more complicated, but the main difference is that it switches the 2k2 resistor between pins 4 and 6. I converted the NXT sensor to be EV3 compatible, by removing the existing 2k2 resistor, shorting pins 3 and 5, adding a 910 ohm resistor between pin 3 and 1, and changing the switch to switch the 2k2 resistor between pins 4 and 6. It is now detected and works fine. Why this sensor isn’t compatible I’m not sure, but the EV3 input ports are definitely different from the NXT to some degree. Looks like the intelligent sensors work though, as I can use the NXT ultrasonic and light sensors. Waiting for the EV3 HDK to investigate further…

  • Have you contacted the Lego Group through their support center? I would start there, especially since they have advertised sensors as being compatible. – user1262 Jan 11 '14 at 13:24

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