The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT includes a wireless Bluetooth node that enables the NXT brick to communicate with other Bluetooth devices.
This page is to help the average user troubleshoot problems connecting the LEGO NXT to a PC or Mac using Bluetooth. If you are looking for advanced Bluetooth information for advanced projects please look here.
The Bluetooth radio and drivers are the same for all NXT bricks.
Bluetooth is a technology that makes it possible to send and receive data without using cables. Using Bluetooth, you can establish a wireless connection between your computer and your NXT or from one NXT to another NXT. You can transfer programs between your NXT and PC or control one NXT by sending it messages from another NXT.
NXT Bluetooth functionality
- Communicate with one Bluetooth device at the time
- Connect with up to three other devices at a time
- Search and connect to other Bluetooth devices
- Remember previous connected device for quick reconnection
- Set NXT brick visible or invisible to other devices
- Turn NXT Bluetooth On/Off for power saving
Known issues with Bluetooth communication with Windows operating system(s)
The NXT can only communicate with Widcomm®or Microsoft® stack controllers (drivers). Some PC’s have other brand of drivers. You may still be able to connect with your Bluetooth radio to the NXT but you may still have communication issues.
If you are having trouble establishing a connection and you have connected before; On the NXT go to Bluetooth settings and open your contacts and then delete them. Sometimes Bluetooth doesn’t close the connection port properly, future connections are affected by this. Deleting the connections and reassigning them proves to work in most cases.
If you can establish a connection between a PC and NXT, but not communicate with it, check the Bluetooth Driver in the Device manager if it is Widcomm or Microsoft stack based.
In most cases, your built in Bluetooth radio or Bluetooth dongle will work without any issues with the NXT 1.1 and above software. Newer Macbooks use a Broadcom® Bluetooth chip, this combination is known to cause issues between the NXT and the Mac. For instructions on how to see what Bluetooth hardware you have, click here. Our developers are working on a solution; in the meantime we suggest you use a dongle, preferably the supported Bluetooth dongle sold via our distributors on our website.
There many brands of Bluetooth dongles available today, the NXT works best with dongles with the Cambridge Silicone Radio (CSR) chipset. In most cases this information is available on a products website. Generally you wouldn't see this on the packaging. If you have a Bluetooth dongle, you can find out by plugging it in the PC and finding the properties of the device. How to or For Mac
Further Bluetooth support is available in your users guide:
NXT 2.0, pages 36 - 45 and NXT 1.x, pages 28 – 37
Or by contacting your local Technical support service desk. Here
Right Click on "My Computer" choose properties / navigate to device manager. (Consult your operating system guide if you are unsure.)
Here's another way to open Device Manager: Click the Start button. In the search box, type Device Manager, and then, in the list of results, click Device Manager
To identify the Bluetooth driver:
Find the Bluetooth entry in the Device manager, right click for properties. You should see Microsoft or Widcomm® as the driver provider.
To find the Bluetooth radio:
Find the Bluetooth entry in the Device manager, right click for properties. You should see Cambridge Silicon Radio
Click on “About this Mac” under the Apple icon on your toolbar.
Click “more info”
Locate Bluetooth and highlight it.
Under “Manufacturer” you can see the brand of Bluetooth Radio.