LIDAR sensors for Robots

When I first became interested in LIDAR technology, I had no idea where to start. I didn’t know which sensor to use. I didn’t know that the LIDAR sensor that I found could be used indoors or outdoors.

I wish there had been a list like this, detailing the sensors to use in robot navigation for simultaneously localize and map (SLAM) or obstacle detection.

If you think I’ve left an important one out, please leave me a note in the comments or send me an email.

1. Single Point Ranging LIDAR Sensors

The LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor is used in robotics to determine how far the objects are from the sensor. The sensor uses a laser beam for detection and tracking the obstacles.

In this part of the article, you will find small size sensors great for attaching to a servo motor to scan back and forth for obstacle avoidance.

These sensors are single point LIDAR working on the Time of Flight principle. The distance measured may be affected by the environment illumination intensity and the reflectivity of the detected object.

Qwiic LIDAR-Lite v4

Qwiic LIDAR-Lite v4

Qwiic LIDAR-Lite v4



Qwiic LIDAR-Lite v4

  • The distance measured [indoor]: between 5cm and up to 10 meters;
  • Connectivity: I2C or ANT;
  • Update rate: 200Hz;
  • Light source: LED 940nm infrared light source;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 85mA;
  • Link to buy: Sparkfun
  • Qwiic LIDAR-Lite v4 Datasheet

TFMini – Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)

TFMini - Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)

TFMini – Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic)



  • Distance measured [indoor]: between 30 cm and 12 meters;
  • Connectivity: I2C;
  • Update rate: 100Hz;
  • Light source: LED 850nm infrared light source;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 800mA;
  • Link to buy: Sparkfun
  • TFMini – Micro LiDAR Module (Qwiic) Datasheet

TFmini Plus

TFmini Plus

TFmini Plus



  • The distance measured [indoor]: between 10cm and and 12m;
  • Connectivity: UART, I2C, I/O;
  • Update rate: 1KHz;
  • Light source: LED 840nm infrared light source;
  • Range resolution: 5mm;
  • Power supply: 5.0V with a peak current of 110mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • TFmini Plus Datasheet

LIDAR-Lite v3

LIDAR-Lite v3

LIDAR-Lite v3



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 0 and 40meters;
  • Connectivity: I2C or PWM;
  • Update rate: up to 500 Hz ;
  • Light source: Laser 905nm;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 135mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • LIDAR-Lite v3 Datasheet

Lightware SF23-B

Lightware SF23-B

Lightware SF23-B



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 20cm and and 50m;
  • Connectivity: Serial;
  • Update rate: 20Hz;
  • Light source: Laser emission Class 1;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: between 3.1V and 5.5V with a peak current of 100mA;
  • Link to buy: RobotShop
  • Lightware SF23-B Datasheet

Lightware SF20-C

Lightware SF20-C Laser

Lightware SF20-C Laser



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 20cm and and 100m;
  • Connectivity: Serial and I2C;
  • Update rate: 388Hz;
  • Light source: Laser;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: between 4.5 to 5.5V with a peak current of 130mA;
  • Link to buy: RobotShop
  • Lightware SF20-C Datasheet

Lightware SF30-D

Lightware SF30-D

Lightware SF30-D



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 20cm and and 200m;
  • Connectivity: Serial, I2C, USB, Analog;
  • Update rate: 20KHz;
  • Light source: Laser Class 1M eye-safe;
  • Range resolution: 1cm;
  • Power supply: between 4.5 to 5.5V with a peak current of 250mA;
  • Compatibility: ArduPilot PX 4
  • Link to buy: RobotShop

2. 360 Scanner LIDAR Sensors

The 360 LIDAR scanners are reliable and currently affordable range sensors that provide information about a dynamic environment at good rates and process the data in real-time.

A 360 LIDAR makes a land scan and interprets the data in 2D coordinates – work out x and y coordinates of a point. The 2D point cloud data can be used to build a map of the environment, localization of the robot, and obstacle detection.

In this part of the article, you will find the 360 LIDAR sensors ideal for indoor and outdoor applications and available at a reasonable price.

YDLIDAR TX8

YDLIDAR TX8

YDLIDAR TX8



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 1cm and and 8m;
  • Sample Frequency: 4000Hz
  • Scan Rate: 5-7Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.6 degree
  • Connectivity: 3.3V level serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Class1 Laser safety standard;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 400mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • YDLIDAR TX8 Datasheet

YDLIDAR X2

YDLIDAR X2

YDLIDAR X2



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 1cm and and 8m; (If you need to use it outdoors, please avoid that the X2’s vision system is directly facing the sun)
  • Sample Frequency: 3000Hz
  • Scan Rate: 5-8Hz
  • Connectivity: Single communication;
  • Light source: Class1 Laser safety standard;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 500mA;
  • Link to buy: RobotShop
  • YDLIDAR X2 Datasheet

YDLIDAR X4

YDLIDAR X4

YDLIDAR X4



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 12cm and and 10m;
  • Sample Frequency: 5000Hz
  • Scan Rate: 6-12Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.5 degree
  • Connectivity: adaptop + USB;
  • Light source: Laser Class I;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 480mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • YDLIDAR X4 Datasheet

YDLIDAR G2

YDLIDAR G2

YDLIDAR G2



  • The distance measured [indoor]: between 1cm and and 10m;
  • Sample Frequency: 5000Hz
  • Scan Rate: 5-12Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.5 degree
  • Connectivity: 3.3V level serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Class1 Laser safety standard;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 650mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • YDLIDAR G2 Datasheet

RPLIDAR A2

RPLIDAR A2

RPLIDAR A2



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 15cm and and 12m;
  • Sample Frequency: 2000 – 8000 Hz
  • Scan Rate: 5 – 15Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.45 – 1.35 degree
  • Range resolution: 0.2cm
  • Connectivity: 3.3V-TTL serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Laser FDA Class I;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 1.5A;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • RPLIDAR A2 Datasheet

RPLIDAR A2M7

RPLIDAR A2M7

RPLIDAR A2M7



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 15cm and and 16m;
  • Sample Frequency: 5000 – 15000 Hz
  • Scan Rate: 16Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.2 degree
  • Connectivity: 3.3V-TTL serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Laser FDA Class I;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 600mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • RPLIDAR A2M7 Datasheet

YDLIDAR G4

YDLIDAR G4

YDLIDAR G4



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 1cm and and 16m;
  • Sample Frequency: 9000Hz
  • Scan Rate: 5-12Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.3 degree
  • Connectivity: 3.3V level serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Class1 Laser safety standard;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 850mA;
  • Link to buy: Amazon
  • YDLIDAR G4 Datasheet

RPLIDAR A3M1

RPLIDAR A3M1

RPLIDAR A3M1



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 15cm and and 20m;
  • Sample Frequency: 10000 Hz
  • Scan Rate: 15Hz
  • Angular Resolution: 0.36 degree
  • Connectivity: TTL serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Laser FDA Class I;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 600mA;
  • Link to buy: Sparkfun
  • A3M1 Datasheet

RPLIDAR S1

RPLIDAR S1

RPLIDAR S1



  • The distance measured [indoor and outdoor]: between 15cm and and 40m;
  • Sample Frequency: 9200Hz
  • Scan Rate: 10Hz
  • Resolution: 3cm
  • Angular Resolution: 0.39 degree
  • Connectivity: TTL serial port (UART);
  • Light source: Laser FDA Class I;
  • Power supply: 5V with a peak current of 1500mA;
  • Link to buy: Sparkfun
  • S1 Datasheet

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