New Distance Sensor Questions


I just had a couple of questions on how to use the new Distance Sensor:

  1. Which port on the GoPiGo2 should it use?
  2. Which APIs can I use to read its measurements?


Hello @zooce
we’re sort of in the middle of launching this new sensor. It goes into the I2C port of any of our robots, be it GoPiGo, GrovePi or BrickPi3.
The API hasn’t been released yet but it’s written and ready to launch.

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Hi @cleoqc,

That makes sense - I tried to import easygopigo and got an import error for a missing Distance_sensor module.

I’m taking a summer course in my Master’s program and I’d love to use this for my project. Are you able to share a possible release date or timeline for when the Distance Sensor API will be available?

I saw reference to open/close eyes commands in the GoPiGo3 code,

Could you answer some basic technical specs about the new (I2C) laser distance sensor:

  1. What are the approximate min distance, max distance, and distance precision?
  2. What is the approximate beam width (in mm) at the min distance and the max distance?
  3. What are the electrical requirements (voltage(s), power)
  4. Are the left and right eye separately controllable?
  5. How much of eyes can be commanded? (e.g.
  • [vertical only open | closed], or
  • [vertical only 0-100], or
  • [lid vertical and pupil horizontal 0-100], or
  • [lid vertical open or closed, pupil angle and radius]
  1. What do eyes do when power is removed?

This sounds like the best personal robot accessory/sensor anyone could have dreamed of!


@cyclicalobsessive, the eyes cannot be commanded on the distance sensor; they’re printed on the distance sensor. It runs at 5V. It uses a laser sot he beam width is pinpoint.

Be right back with the distance, forgot about this one.

The eyes you saw in the GoPiGo3 code are for the little robot drawn on top of the GoPiGo3 board. You can control those but not the ones on the distance sensor board.


The sensor range is from < 2cm up to just a little more than 2m.

The distance sensor has 1mm distance precision. The VL53L0X distance sensor (the laser sensor used on the Dexter Industries Distance Sensor) allows you to select different settings so you can choose range and sample time. The faster the sample time or the longer the range, the less accurate the reading will be. Even set to full 2m range (default) the sensor seems to be very accurate.

According to the datasheet, it seems the laser beam cone is 35 degrees wide, and the sensor has 25 degrees of sensitivity. You can look at the datasheet for more technical details (page 30 shows a diagram of laser and sensor widths).

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@cleoqc any updates for the GoPiGo2 API for the Distance Sensor ?

Hey @stolidness it is ready! You can see the code for the Distance Sensor in our Github Repo for it here.

To install it locally, simply run this command:

curl --silent | bash

We would love to hear how it goes!

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