VL53L0x expansion deck

Most of the time we have a few prototypes lying around that we’re working more or less on. Sometimes some of these make it into a product if we feel that they might be useful or fun for the community, like for instance the SD-card. Now it’s time for another prototype to be moved to manufacturing, a deck with VL53L0x laser ToF distance sensor.

On the Crazyflie 2.0 (and Crazyflie 1.0 10-DOF) we have a pressure sensor mounted to help control the altitude of the platform. Since air pressure is moving around a lot and the measurement is noisy it’s been very hard to get a rock-solid altitude hold working (although it’s getting closer). Already back when ST released the VL6180X we were looking at it, but the range was too short (10cm max). So when ST released the VL53L0x which has longer range (200cm max) we though this might be a good deck for the Crazyflie 2.0.

So we have a working prototype and thanks to stephanbro and Marcus Grieff we also have the firmware to use it with the Kalman filter. We are currently working at making it work together with the pressure sensor with the current altitude-hold mode.

Currently we’re working on verifying the hardware to make sure the power supply is good enough for it, but then the next step is production. Hopefully it will be available in a couple of months 🙂 Below is a picture of the current prototype.

VL53

2 comments on “VL53L0x expansion deck

  • This sounds like an awesome sensor. Can’t wait to try it out.
    Is it possible to use two decks at the same time, one pointing down and one pointing up?
    Could such a sensor also be mounted horizontally to do basic obstacle avoidance, for example in forward flight? Perfect solution would be to have 6 sensors that cover every axis. I guess that would draw to much power, right?

    • This board will only be possible to use pointing down, but the one with 6 sensors would be awesome! We’ve been talking about it, but there’s an issue with the mechanics. We can’t figure out a good way to attach the sensors pointing in every direction (and avoid the detection cone hitting the Crazyflie) without doing any plastic parts. Any ideas are welcome 🙂

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