This is a special ToF sensor based on the VL6180X distance sensor. 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 VL6180X 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.
The VL6180X’s detect range is from 5mm to 100mm, with certain conditions it can measure up to 150mm distance. It is suitable for short distance measuring and high precision application.
Communicating to the sensor is done over I2C with some simple commands. Most of the work is handled inside the sensor itself, so it’s very easy to port our Arduino library to another microcontroller. There are two non-I2C pins, GPIO and SHDN, normally you don’t need to use them.
- Operating Voltage: 3V ~ 5V
- Effective Range: 5- 100mm
- Dimensions: 20.3 x 17.8mm
- Weight: 1.4g
- GPIO: this is a pin that is used by the sensor to indicate that data is ready. It's useful for when doing continuous sensing. Note there is no level shifting on this pin, you may not be able to read the 2.8V-logic-level voltage on a 5V microcontroller (we could on an arduino UNO but no promises).
- SHDN: the shutdown pin for the sensor. By default it's pulled high. There's a level-shifting diode so you can use 3-5V logic on this pin. When the pin is pulled low, the sensor goes into shutdown mode.