The Adafruit VL53L1X Time of Flight Distance Sensor (also known as VL53L1CX) is a Time of Flight distance sensor that has a massive 4-meter range and LIDAR-like precision. The sensor contains a very tiny invisible laser source and a matching sensor. The VL53L1X 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 the 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 VL53L1X 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.
This is the ‘next generation’ of the VL53L0X ToF sensor and can handle about ~30 to 4000mm of range distance, with up to 50Hz update rate. If you need an even smaller/closer range, check out the VL6180X which can measure 5mm to 200mm and also contains a light sensor.
The sensor is small and easy to use in any robotics or interactive project. Since it needs 2.8V power and logic we put the little fellow on a breakout board with a regulator and level shifting. You can use it with any 3-5V power or logic microcontroller with no worries. Works great with the 3.3V logic level of a Feather or Raspberry Pi, or the 5V level of a Metro 328 or Arduino Uno, this breakout is ready to work with most common microcontrollers or SBCs. and since it speaks I2C, you can easily connect it up with two data wires plus power and ground.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.