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  •  TOF  (Time Of Flight) with sensor VL53L0X

Breakout board based on Time of Flight technology and make use of the VL53L0X sensor, a low drop-out linear voltage regulator, a MOSFET adapter for the I²C-Bus interface useful for translating the 0 / 2.8V logic levels of the integrated to adapt them to the standard TTL of traditional logic boards and to Arduino. The communication with the host device, typically a microcontroller, takes place on the I²C-Bus formed by the SCL and SDA pins, respectively clock and bidirectional data channel; through the bus (which operates at a frequency of 400 kHz) it is possible to set operating modes, sensitivity, etc., but also to read the measurement result. In terms of operating mode, it must be said that the device can perform the measurement with a certain settable periodicity, both on request (a mode that optimizes consumption, deriving in large part from the turning on of the laser).

The GPIOs of the VL53L0X can be configured using special commands sent via I²C-Bus. The VL53L0X is powered through the AVDD (positive) and GND (ground) pins for the receiving section and AVDD_VCSEL and AVSS-VCSEL for the laser diode. The VL53L0X management library is downloaded, as well as from our website together with the other project files, from To be able to use it, after downloading it, you must copy the folder contained in the .zip file into the "libraries" directory where the Arduino environment is installed. Ditto for the Neopixel ring management library.

The module provides information to a microcontroller about the distance detected in front of its optical sensor based on the flight time of a light pulse.

Attention: the strip connector must be welded.

What you can do with this breakout

LASER PARKING ASSISTANT: Similar to the parking sensors mounted on cars, but this time it is fixed on the back wall of the parking space. When we approach, the LEDs light up green, then gradually they turn yellow, then red and, as soon as the distance is reduced to a minimum, they flash red indicating that we need to stop. The system consists of the breakout with the VL53L0X, interfaced with the Beetle board (equipped with a microcontroller) and a neopixel LED ring that will provide the visual indications of the case, ie it will light up with the color corresponding to the detected distance.

Note: the Beetle board with the microcontroller for this project and the neopixel LED ring are not included with the Breakout.





  • Power supply: 5 Vcc
  • Current consumption: 400 mA
  • Measurement system: flight time of the IR laser pulse
  • Measurable distance: 2 m
  • Laser wavelength and sensor: 940 nm
The VL53L0X device

The integrated ST maje use of the count of the flight time of the photons constituting the light emitted by a microscopic laser that incorporates. Compared to similar solutions based on optics and especially those LEDs that emit infrared and IR photodiodes, the VL53L0X does not suffer from the absorption of light by the surface to be detected. This is due to the mode of operation, which does not include the reading of the intensity of the reflected light radiation, but the calculation of the time elapsed from the emission of the IR by the VCSEL laser to the reception by the photodiode. Added to this is the fact that the ST device incorporates a second light sensor, which serves to measure the brightness in the environment, so as to subtract it from the illumination that the photodiode undergoes as a result of the laser light reflected by the obstacle to be detected . The availability of a second sensor is also ideal for applications of the integrated as a proximity sensor in tablets and smartphones, where by placing the component behind the touch-screen glass reflections and refractions occur such as to bring back a portion of the light emitted by the laser on the photodiode with great advance, which would distort the measurement. Operation of the ambient light sensor. Another feature that contributes to making the circuit not very sensitive to the absorbency of the surface from which to detect the distance is a special circuit that allows to regulate the gain of the receiving stage and the light in the environment and to make very short pulses emit. Furthermore, the technique of measuring the flight time of the light pulse is based on a photon photodetector Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD), which passes from the state of inverse polarization close to the breakdown voltage, to that of reverse avalanche conduction to arrival of a photon of light that hits the sensitive surface.

Like its predecessor, the VL53L0X is also used in:

• proximity sensors for smartphones, autofocus systems for smartphones and cameras, gesture recognizers for browsing content on mobile devices;
• gesture recognition for the control of lights, robots, toys, home entertainment and home automation systems and, in the automotive sector, management of the on-board computer and car-entertainment.

The integrated is very small: it measures just 4.40x2.40x1 mm!

The breakout boards

The breakout boards are prototyping boards containing the already welded needed component, whose connections are carried outside the bases on easily usable connections for pitch and termination; generally the connections are pitches with a pitch of 2.54 mm, like those of the classic integrated DIP. To help those who would like to use SMD components but doesn’t have the means or the qualities to weld it, a number of integrated sensors (including sensors, switching power supplies, battery chargers, linear amplifiers, etc.) have been identified and mounted on ready-to-use bases. These breakout boards are both an aid for those who want to have ready in a traditional format the best of SMD electronics, both for those who can work with SMD components - need to have these components available on prototyping boards to apply them to circuits existing and testing, that is, to create prototypes that integrate the functions of the relative integrated, before realizing the final printed circuit of a device.


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TOF (Time Of Flight) with sensor VL53L0X

  • Price: 12.50€

Tags: TOF (Time Of Flight), sensor VL53L0X

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