There are a few ways in which to use Vernier sensors with LEGO hardware and software. But those connection options are fairly limited, as outlined below.

The NXT Sensor Adapter (BTA-NXT) provides the ability to connect certain Vernier LabQuest analog sensors directly to the EV3 robotics brick. This allows you to program your EV3 robot to autonomously make decisions based on Vernier sensor readings. However, not all of the LEGO EV3 software has support for this feature. Below is a table of the most common LEGO EV3 software and its compatibility with Vernier sensors.

Software Compatible (YES/NO)
EV3 Classroom App (for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome) NO
EV3 Lab (for Windows or Mac) YES
EV3 Programming (for iOS, Android, Chromebook) NO
EV3 MicroPython (for Windows or Mac) YES

The table above shows software that can be uploaded to the EV3, giving the EV3 the ability to take sensor readings autonomously. A different method is to use software on a computer that can measure and process sensor readings and that can also control the EV3 brick. This software is not uploaded to the EV3. The computer must run the software. In this scenario, the EV3 is not running autonomously. Below is a table of software that can be used in this method.

Software Sensor Compatible (YES/NO)
Scratch 3 Go Direct Force and Acceleration YES
LabVIEW Any Go Direct Sensor YES

More information on the various software options is found below.

EV3 Lab:
EV3 Lab was LEGO’s original block-based MINDSTORMS software. In 2019, Apple’s new MacOS, called Catalina, disabled EV3 Lab. LEGO decided to replace EV3 Lab with new software called EV3 Classroom. EV3 Lab supports Vernier sensors, but the new EV3 Classroom does not.

If you are still using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 Lab software you will need NXT Sensor Adapter (BTA-NXT) to connect a LabQuest sensor to the EV3, and you will need to import the Vernier EV3 sensor block into the EV3 Lab software. The download of the sensor block and a list of compatible sensors are found on the adapter’s web page.

We also have a book of projects that use Vernier sensors with MINDSTORMS EV3 Lab software. Vernier Engineering Projects with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 (EP-EV3-E) contains 13 engineering challenges for upper middle school and high school students to build and program robots for testing batteries, locating “land mines”, automating plant watering, and more.

EV3 MicroPython:
MicroPython for EV3 version 2.0 has introduced Vernier LabQuest sensor support. You will need NXT Sensor Adapter (BTA-NXT) to connect a LabQuest sensor to the EV3 brick.

To communicate with the EV3 in LabVIEW you will need to add the NI LabVIEW Module for NXT/EV3 to your LabVIEW software. Find the download here. After installing the LabVIEW Module for EV3 you will find a palette of subVIs in that download that can be used to communicate with certain Vernier LabQuest BTA sensors.

To add Go Direct sensor support to LabVIEW, visit our download page to find example LabVIEW programs (VIs).

Scratch 3 includes an extension that allows you to communicate with the EV3. In addition, there is an extension that allows communication with Go Direct® Force and Acceleration Sensor (GDX-FOR). You can therefore create Scratch programs that simultaneously communicate with the EV3 and the Go Direct Force and Acceleration sensor. For more information about using the Vernier extension in Scratch visit this web page

Vernier Sensor Block Downloads

Related TILs:

LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 Troubleshooting and FAQs