TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module

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The TFMini is a ToF (Time of Flight) LiDAR sensor capable of measuring the distance to an object as close as 30 centimeters and as far as 12 meters! As with all LiDAR sensors, your effective detection distance will vary depending on lighting conditions and the reflectivity of your target object, but what makes this sensor special is its size. Measuring only 42x15x16mm, the TFMini allows you to integrate LiDAR into applications traditionally reserved for smaller sensors such as the SHARP GP-series infrared rangefinders. The TFMini is easy to power at only 5V and easy to talk to using a 3.3V UART at 115200 baud.

Point of Order: This product does not use laser light for ranging. Instead it contains an LED and optics. Many such systems are being marketed under the name "LiDAR," although it may be more appropriate to think of this device as a "Time-of-Flight Infrared Rangefinder". It differs significantly from traditional IR rangefinders in that it uses ToF to determine range and not triangulation — as is performed by the Sharp GP-series devices.

We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.
  • TFMini Micro LiDAR Module
  • Hookup Wire
  • Input Voltage: 5V
  • Average Power: ≤120mW
  • LED Peak Current: 800mA
  • UART TTL Voltage: 3.3V
  • Baud Rate: 115200 8N1
  • Resolution: 5mm
  • Minimum Detected Object Size at 2m: 20mm
  • Operating Wavelength: 850nm
  • Signal Acceptance Angle: 2.3°

Customer Comments

  • Included Packaging and Materials

    I just opened up a TFMini for testing, you will have to be careful not to throw away the two pink packaging materials. The cable is in one of the pink packaging material. I was about to throw it away until I looked further into the box. Be careful! ;)

    Cable Connectors

    The connector to TFMini appears to be a 4-Pin JST GH series 1.25-pitch polarized connector. The connector on the other end looks like it is a 4-pin Molex Microblade 1.25-pitch connector [ Molex Part #: 51021-0400 ]. If you do not have a mating connector for the Molex Microblade connector, you could cut the connector off, strip the wires, and make your own custom adapter. To make a custom adapter solder the wires to a snappable protoboard [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13268 ] and add a solder bridge between the connector of your choice. I personally use 0.1" male and female headers to easily switch between a breadboard and the premium jumper wires in the catalog. =)

  • what is the output connector on this?

  • So far, I’ve only seen two command sequences: The one in the Arduino library and the one in their web site (http://www.benewake.com/en/down.html). Does anyone know if there is a sequence to shut down the sensor to conserve power?

  • Did not include hook-up wire as mentioned

    Edit: The folks at Sparkfun have sent me a replacement! Thanks guys.

    • Hmm. That’s really odd. Benewake is looking in to it as well. We’ll get another cable out to you shortly. Next time please contact customer service.

  • Where does it say what class laser this is and is it eye safe? The datasheet say 120mW @ 850 nm, so it is in the IR range, but I am not a laser expert, so I am not sure if I have to worry about blinding people with this.

    • OK very annoying SparkFun, I just wrote a long reply and was told I had to verify my email account before posting, I did that and LOST me entire post, a warning would have been nice!

      Anyway, this is not a laser, I have the device in front of me, no laser warning labels. The description above also explains that it is an IR range finder, not “really” lidar. The limit for “eye safe” laser’s is 5 mW. FWIW, a 120 mW laser, irrespective of whether it was UV, visible or IR, would be very dangerous to your eyes. Doubly so being IR, as you wouldn’t see the beam. This probably uses an IR LED similar to what you would find in a TV remote. The designation for eye safe lasers used to be IIIr, but the whole laser class designation has changed and eye safe is class 1 now. A more detailed description is here: http://www.lasersafetyfacts.com/laserclasses.html

    • edit: didnt realize theres a tab for documents now.

      it looks like this laser falls under class 3b, but i’m no laseronomist.

  • Would this device be able to pick up a spherical object moving towards it? Also is it only capable of communicating with an arduino or can it communicate with other processors?

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