New longer-range Pololu distance sensors

We released the first of our new Pololu distance sensors a few months ago, and now we’re releasing additional Pololu Digital Distance Sensors with longer ranges! These boards have the same form factor and pinout as both our old Sharp/Socle GP2Y0D8x carrier boards and the short-range Pololu distance sensors designed to replace those, but the new versions offer greatly increased detection and measurement ranges, opening up new possibilities in applications where longer-distance sensing capabilities are desired.

Comparison of a Pololu Carrier with Sharp GP2Y0D8x Digital Distance Sensor and two Pololu Digital Distance Sensors (irs16a and irs17a).

Like their shorter-range counterparts, these new Pololu distance sensors determine distance by using an integrated lidar module to measure the time of flight (ToF) of invisible, eye-safe infrared laser light. The new versions include four digital output versions, which simply indicate whether they detect an object within their respective range thresholds:

There are also two new versions with pulse width outputs, which encode a distance measurement in a pulsed signal:

(For more detail on how the different output types work, see the earlier announcement or the sensors’ product pages.)

This brings us up to ten different Pololu distance sensor options, as shown in these tables:

Digital output
(does not provide distance measurement)
Sensor Maximum
range1
Minimum
range
Minimum
update
rate
Jumper
settings
(4321)
PCB ID
#4050: Digital output, 5cm 5 cm < 5 mm 145 Hz 0000 irs16a
#4052: Digital output, 10cm 10 cm < 5 mm 115 Hz 0010
#4054: Digital output, 15cm 15 cm < 5 mm 95 Hz 0100
#4066: Digital output, 25cm 25 cm < 1 mm 100 Hz 0000 irs17a
#4067: Digital output, 50cm 50 cm < 1 mm 100 Hz 0001
#4069: Digital output, 100cm 100 cm < 1 mm 100 Hz 0011
#4077: Digital output, 200cm 200 cm < 1 mm 30 Hz 1011

Pulse width output
(provides distance measurement)
Sensor Maximum
range1
Minimum
range2
Resolution Minimum
update
rate
Jumper
settings
(4321)
PCB ID
#4064: Pulse width output, 50cm max ~50 cm 1 cm 3 mm 50 Hz 1110 irs16a
#4071: Pulse width output, 130cm max ~130 cm 4 cm 1 mm 100 Hz 0101 irs17a
#4079: Pulse width output, 300cm max ~300 cm 4 cm 2 mm 30 Hz 1101

1 Effective range depends on object reflectivity and ambient lighting conditions.
2 Objects closer than the minimum distance can still be detected, but the measured distance might be inaccurate. The minimum detection range is < 5 mm for irs16a boards and < 1 mm for irs17a boards.

We’ve also just published comprehensive information about all the possible jumper settings for these sensor boards on their respective product pages. By changing the jumper connections, you can make a sensor act like a different version or even select another configuration that isn’t available as a standard product. (And if you have a special volume requirement, we can manufacture a custom batch of sensors for you; please contact us for more information.)

Once again, we are offering an extra introductory special discount on these sensors, to help share in our celebration of releasing new products. The first hundred customers to use coupon code DISTSENSORS can get up to three units of each type (including the shorter-ranged versions released earlier) for just $9.95 each!

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