FlightSense ToF sensor has auto power saving

Detection range of STMicroelectronics VL53L1X time of flight (ToF) sensor has been extended to four metres.

The VL53L1X sensor extends the detection range of ST’s FlightSense technology and brings high accuracy, low power distance measurement, and proximity detection to an even wider variety of applications, says the company.

Other proximity sensors that use simple infra red (IR) technology are limited to only measuring signal strength. They can also be affected by the object’s reflectivity, points out ST. FlightSense sensors directly measure distance to the object based on the time for emitted photons to be reflected, enabling accurate distance-ranging regardless of the object’s surface characteristics.

With low power consumption and fast ranging performance, the VL53L1X is suitable for mobile robotics for wall following, cliff detection, collision avoidance and hover/landing assistance for drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The power-saving presence-detection mode enables auto-sleep/wake-on-approach use for PCs, notebooks and IoT devices. It can also be used to camera auto-focus assist, and gesture recognition.

The integrated, miniaturised VL53L1X measures only 4.9 x 2.5 x 1.56mm. It is also pin-compatible with its predecessor, the VL53L0X, for ease of upgrading.

The compact package contains the laser driver and emitter as well as the single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) light receiver, responsible, says ST for FlightSense sensors’ ranging speed and reliability. The 940nm emitter, operating in the non-visible spectrum, eliminates distracting light emission and can be hidden behind a protective window without impairing measurement performance.

The VL53L1X is in production now.

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