Laser sensor - measure distance using the time-of-flight principle
The VL53L0X is a sensor distance that use the "Time of Flight" technology. This sensor contains an invisible light laser source and the matching detector. The VL53L0X can detect the distance of a object by evalutating how long the light takes to come back to the detector. As the light source is very narrow, the sensor is pratical to measure the distance of object in front of it. Thanks to the narrow light source, the sensor is not sensitive to the other objects all around (only the object in front of it)!
The VL53L0X is different from the ultrasonic sensor (which act like a sonar) which sends ultrasonic waves (larger cone)... making them sensitive to the other object in the close environment.
The VL53L0X is also different from the infrared sensor (that measure the amount of reflected infrared light) which is also very sensitive to its closer environment.
The "Time Of Flight" sensor are much more precise and does not have linearity problem (the speed of light is constant). They are not disturbed by the multiples echos (which cause unprecise reads and distance calculation).
This is a great sensor for robotic project or interactive projects because it is small and easy to use.
The VL53L0X use a 2.8V logic then Adafruit populated the board with voltage regulator and lever shifter.
You can safely use this breakout with any 3-5V microcontroler.
Communicating to the sensor is done over I2C and the API has been written by ST... so its should be more easy to port the Adafruit library to your favorite microcontroler.
Adafruit did write a library for Arduino to use this sensor with any Arduino-compatible boards.
The sensor board now feature Qwiic/StemmaQT connexion.
For each order you will receive the sensor + a small piece of header. You can solder the connector on the breakout to insert it onto a breadboard.
Just wire it and load the Adafruit's Arduino Library and you are ready to measure distance!