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I would like to use more than one VL53L0X, laser distance sensor that works in the same time, next to another, and they have to measure slightly different distances.

Q: Is it possible to use an array of VL53L0X laser distance sensors without them interfering with one another?

VL53L0X datasheet

An Array of VL53L0X

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would have thought the chances all depend on the separation - look at the beam divergence in the data sheet. You should look into splitting up the capture time, so only one sensor is on at any one time, but do it fast to get a sudo real time response. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Mottram Apr 25 '17 at 7:49
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ST mentioned in their webinars that they've done this kind of testing before and found you can have many sensors operate well without any synchronization. Each sensor only knows the precise timing of its own laser light and therefore rejects the other sensors' light as being just random ambient noise.

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A look at the datasheet shows a few significant parameters:

  • The measurement angle, which is 25 degrees. You'll need to determine whether this gives you enough detail to make the measurements you need.

  • The accuracy, which seems to vary according to distance but they give values from 3% to 12% depending on distance and other conditions, again, you'll need to determine whether this is sufficient to resolve the "slight" differences in distance you're looking to measure.

  • The typical minimum (8ms) and maximum (23ms) times it takes to carry out a measurement. You would need to make sure you don't carry out measurements at the same time using sensors whose fields of view overlap with each other, and that depends on their physical positioning. At worst case, with 8 overlapping sensors, you would be able to carry out about 5 measurements a second if you carry out each one in turn, so you would need to establish whether that was quick enough to pick up any movement you are looking to measure. The best case is that the sensors don't overlap at all, so you can measure continuously (in this case, that means upwards of 40 times a second).

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