We recently published a video showing how teams can build a smart shelve monitoring system using the VL53L1X Time-of-Flight sensor present on our BlueTile Bluetooth LE sensor node (STEVAL-BCN002V1B). The application uses one of the most prominent features of our longest ranging Time-of-Flight sensor, its programmable region of interest (ROI), to track the position of adjustable shelves and determine quantities still available. Thanks to its lens, the sensor can adjust its field of view to adapt to various widths, more accurately measuring the space available on shelves of different sizes. As the video shows, it’s possible to create a small, robust, and efficient module that can work for years on a single battery and drastically improve a company’s operations.
The new video follows another demonstration that was popular at MWC19 Shanghai, and that is at the heart of the feature below, the people counting application. The VL53L1X features an API that allows developers to create multiple ROIs quickly. The Time-of-Flight sensor sets two regions around the entrance of a room, then examines the movements from people to determine if they are entering or exiting it. As the film proves, the system can reject confusing behaviors, such as people hanging around the door but not really entering or exiting, and also distinguish between objects, such as chairs, and people, thus offering a genuinely accurate system.
How to Use a VL53L1X in Dusty Environments
Using our VL53L1X Time-of-Flight sensor enables the creation of robust solutions because it can offer excellent performances in dusty environments without requiring constant recalibration. As we show in the video below, the sensor allows for the use of an inexpensive adapter that acts as a wall between the laser and the photoreceptor. If layers of dust on the cover glass trap the electrons leaving the laser, this barrier ensures that they don’t find their way to the receiver and distort the measurements. Thanks to this very cost-effective solution, engineers can safely envision using the sensor to create a smart shelf or a people counting system without worrying that a little bit of dust will impair its operations. It is thus another guarantee that the system can last a long time in the field with little maintenance.
How to Start Thinking about an Application
Engineers can start developing their application on the BlueTile or by acquiring the P-NUCLEO-53L1A1, a pack that contains the popular base board and the expansion. The video below is a step by step guide that shows how anyone, regardless of their experience with this kind of sensor, can download our graphical user interface to start testing the sensor’s responses to experiment and prototype applications. The ability to log data and export it is crucial because it means that teams can perform critical tests without massive monetary or time investments. They can also write an application reasonably quickly once they have the results they need.
How to Start Writing Your Application
Once teams are ready to develop their firmware and work on their custom PCB, they can rely on our schematics, documentation, and the video below, which shows how to download our source codes, integrate them in an IDE, and compile them. Teams may use a different toolchain or another microcontroller than the STM32F4 in the demo. However, once programmers are familiar with the video below, it will be a lot easier to adapt their workflow to their needs and have a functional code, especially if they spent time on the graphical user interface before moving to their custom application.