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Please use this tag only for general Mindstorms questions and compatibility. If the question refers specifically to the EV3, NXT, or RCX, then use those tags instead.

Please use this tag only for general Mindstorms questions and compatibility. Use the , or tag to mark questions depending on the system used.


In 1984 the LEGO Group partnered with the Media Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which among others led to the development and release of the Computer Control system in 1986 and Mindstorms in 1998.

Mindstorms Robotics Invention System

Mindstorms Robotics Invention System versions 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0, released in 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively, came with an brick that had ports to connect 3 motors and 3 sensors using the 9V connector cables and a 2x2x2/3 brick with metal in the studs.

Communication with the RCX brick is via infrared, either a Serial/USB "Tower" or a remote control.

Mindstorms RCX

Mindstorms NXT

Mindstorms NXT versions 1.0 and 2.0, released in 2006 and 2009, respectively, came with an enhanced brick which has 4 sensor ports and 3 motor ports, and uses RJ12 connectors. There is a much wider variety of 3rd party sensors available for the NXT than the RCX, some of which have very advanced functionality. Enhancements include:

  • A 100x64 matrix display
  • A speaker capable of playing sound files
  • On-brick programming
  • Bluetooth capability

Communication with the NXT brick is via either a direct USB connection or Bluetooth.

Mindstorms NXT

Mindstorms EV3

Mindstorms EV3, released in 2013, is the latest incarnation of Mindstorms which comes with the upgraded brick, housing 4 sensor ports and 4 motor ports, and uses the same RJ12 connectors as the NXT. It is completely backward compatible with NXT sensors and motors. Enhancements include:

  • New Linux-based firmware
  • A USB port
  • SD expansion slot
  • iOS and Android support out of the box
  • 3D Building instruction app

Communication with the EV3 brick is via either a direct USB connection, Bluetooth, or wifi.

Mindstorms EV3