Home / Exposed / Exposed: LEGO Colour Sensor

Exposed: LEGO Colour Sensor

No, not a HiTechnic sensor in this episode of Exposed. Yesterday someone on the Mindboards forums asked what the third bump on the LEGO Colour Sensor was for.  I was curious enough to take a small blade to one of my sensors and take it apart.  I did take some grainy pictures but figured I could probably get better ones today.  So here it is, the LEGO Colour Sensor, exposed in all its glorious nekkidness.


CIMG0927 CIMG0933
The top of the small printed circuit board (PCB).  You can clearly see the difference between the two eye-like component.  The bottom one has 4 legs, one of each colour component (Red, Green and Blue) and a common cathode or anode.  The top component must be the photo-detector. This is the bottom of the PCB.  The small processor seems to be an Atmel of some kind.  There’s some scribbling on the chip, so it’s hard to make out the type. You will also notice the programming header below it, the through-holes at least.


CIMG0932 CIMG0929
Side view of the sensor, you can see the small plastic frame to hold the RGB LED and photo-detector in place. Here’s lookin’ at you!
If you click to enlarge, you can really see all the little wires in the LED.  Pretty cool!


CIMG0938 CIMG0939
Front view of the sensor cap.  Looks pretty fake now, doesn’t it? You can see that there’s a solid lump of plastic behind the bump.


If there is a sensor you’d like to see exposed, drop me a note.  Make sure you check it’s not one I have done before, though.  You can do that by browsing through the Exposed category.  Please note that I cannot disassemble Mindsensors sensors, they’re really sandwiched together and it would take a Dremel and a lot of tears to take those apart.

About Xander

Xander Soldaat is a Software Engineer and former Infrastructure Architect. He loves building and programming robots. He recently had the opportunity to turn his robotics hobby into his profession and has started working for Robomatter, the makers of ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Words.