In working on autonomous robotics research, I recently came across the VL53L0X ToF sensor and obtained several from Adafruit. After verifying that the accuracy really is as advertised, I wanted to add this to my autonomous rover but the rover is entirely written in python on the Raspberry Pi. There are a few python interfaces available for the VL53L0X but they are limited in ability and do not work consistently. What I wanted was a python version of the ST library so all capability/configurability could be utilized but porting that entire library to python was too significant of an undertaking so I decided to create a python extension to interface to the ST Library. This python extension has a simplified interface to the library for common usage but also provides full access to all the ST library functions if necessary. This is what I would consider “beta” quality but works well enough that I wanted to share with others to advance development.
Adafruit VL53L0X Time of Flight Distance Sensor – ~30 to 1000mm: The VL53L0X is a Time of Flight distance sensor like no other you’ve used! The sensor contains a very tiny invisible laser source, and a matching sensor. The VL53L0X can detect the “time of flight”, or how long the light has taken to bounce back to the sensor. Since it uses a very narrow light source, it is good for determining distance of only the surface directly in front of it. Unlike sonars that bounce ultrasonic waves, the ‘cone’ of sensing is very narrow. Unlike IR distance sensors that try to measure the amount of light bounced, the VL53L0x is much more precise and doesn’t have linearity problems or ‘double imaging’ where you can’t tell if an object is very far or very close. Read more.
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