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#422 VL53L0X/LaserTapeMeasure

Using a VL53L0X ranging sensor to make a short-range laser tape measure with an Arduino and Nokia 5110 display.


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The VL53L0X is a very small Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensor.

It is quite widely available as a module, including from Adafruit - see their information page.

For this project I'm taking the module for a test drive and building a short-range tape measure with an Arduino and Nokia 5110 display.

Robojax has a nice video on YouTube (and information page) that gives a good introduction to the chip and module:


There are a few board designs around, this is quite common. It squeezes everything including regulator into a very small form factor:

module_front module_back


The VL53L0X module just needs power and I²C connections. Because the module has an onboard regulator, it can take either 3.3V or 5V from the Arduino.




The LaserTapeMeasure.ino sketch implements a simple tape measure with measurements displayed on a Nokia 5110 LCD.

Libraries used:

Note: I first tried to use the Adafruit PCD8544 and GFX libraries, but that proved just too much for the mighty memory of the Atmega328.

Library Hack

Adafruit_VL53L0X_Customised.h is a slightly customised version of Adafruit_VL53L0X.h from the Adafruit library. The change simply makes the DeviceInfo instance variable public so I can use that data in the splash screen.

Test Drive

The startup screen actually prints the device name and version as reported by the VL53L0X chip itself:


Range-finding in action:


The effective range I'm seeing (with default settings) is from about 2cm to 50cm.

The device supports 4 different ranging profiles, including high accuracy and long range (up to 2m). I haven't investigated those yet - and they don't appear to be directly supported by the Adafruit_VL53L0X C++ interface class (requires going under the hood of the API).

Credits and References