Intermediate
30 min

Easily implement LiDAR technology into your future projects with our TFmini solution and STM32F767BI

Your plug-and-play TFmini LiDAR solution

TFmini Click with UNI-DS v8

Published Sep 24, 2023

Click board™

TFmini Click

Dev Board

UNI-DS v8

Compiler

NECTO Studio

MCU

STM32F767BI

With our TFmini adapter, we've engineered a game-changing solution that empowers engineers and innovators to integrate LiDAR technology into their projects, accelerating development and unlocking new possibilities in distance measurements

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Hardware Overview

How does it work?

TFmini Click is an adapter Click board™ that simplifies the interface of the TFmini LiDAR module with the host MCU. This Click board™ represents a small PCB connected to the mikroBUS™ socket like any other Click board™, with a 1x4 1.25mm pitch connector used for the TFmini LiDAR sensor connection. Each connector pin corresponds to a pin of the TFmini LiDAR sensor, allowing easy pin access and manipulation while retaining a perfect connection quality at all times. This Click board™ allows users to upgrade their projects with a sensor capable of measuring the distance to an object, where different

measurement ranges can be achieved. As with all LiDAR sensors, the effective detection distance will vary depending on lighting conditions and the reflectivity of your target object. These sensors come with an IP65 enclosure rating, 100Hz frame rate, and 70Klux ambient light immunity and are suitable for various industrial environments like pedestrian detection, vehicle testing, and altitude. TFmini Click can use both UART and I2C interfaces, with commonly used UART RX and TX pins as its default communication protocol operating at 115200bps by default configuration to transmit and exchange data with the host MCU. The selection

can be made by positioning the SMD switch labeled COMM SEL in an appropriate position. Note that all the switch positions must be on the same side, or the Click board™ may become unresponsive. This Click board™ can operate with either 3.3V or 5V logic voltage levels selected via the VIO SEL jumper. This way, both 3.3V and 5V capable MCUs can use the communication lines properly. Also, this Click board™ comes equipped with a library containing easy-to-use functions and an example code that can be used as a reference for further development.

TFmini Click top side image
TFmini Click bottom side image

Features overview

Development board

UNI-DS v8 is a development board specially designed for the needs of rapid development of embedded applications. It supports a wide range of microcontrollers, such as different STM32, Kinetis, TIVA, CEC, MSP, PIC, dsPIC, PIC32, and AVR MCUs regardless of their number of pins, and a broad set of unique functions, such as the first-ever embedded debugger/programmer over WiFi. The development board is well organized and designed so that the end-user has all the necessary elements, such as switches, buttons, indicators, connectors, and others, in one place. Thanks to innovative manufacturing technology, UNI-DS v8 provides a fluid and immersive working experience, allowing access anywhere and under any

circumstances at any time. Each part of the UNI-DS v8 development board contains the components necessary for the most efficient operation of the same board. An advanced integrated CODEGRIP programmer/debugger module offers many valuable programming/debugging options, including support for JTAG, SWD, and SWO Trace (Single Wire Output)), and seamless integration with the Mikroe software environment. Besides, it also includes a clean and regulated power supply module for the development board. It can use a wide range of external power sources, including a battery, an external 12V power supply, and a power source via the USB Type-C (USB-C) connector. Communication options such as USB-UART, USB

HOST/DEVICE, CAN (on the MCU card, if supported), and Ethernet is also included. In addition, it also has the well-established mikroBUS™ standard, a standardized socket for the MCU card (SiBRAIN standard), and two display options for the TFT board line of products and character-based LCD. UNI-DS v8 is an integral part of the Mikroe ecosystem for rapid development. Natively supported by Mikroe software tools, it covers many aspects of prototyping and development thanks to a considerable number of different Click boards™ (over a thousand boards), the number of which is growing every day.

UNI-DS v8 horizontal image

Microcontroller Overview

MCU Card / MCU

default

Type

8th Generation

Architecture

ARM Cortex-M7

MCU Memory (KB)

2048

Silicon Vendor

STMicroelectronics

Pin count

208

RAM (Bytes)

524288

You complete me!

Accessories

TFmini Plus LiDAR sensor measures the distance to an object as close as 10 centimeters and as far as 12 meters without any problem. Besides low cost, small size, and low power consumption, TFmini Plus also improves the frame rate, uses a UART interface for communication with the MCU, introduces IP65 enclosures, and optimizes various compensation algorithms. As with all LiDAR sensors, the 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. The TFmini Plus LiDAR sensor does not use laser light for ranging. Instead, it contains an integrated LED and optics, so they are marked under the name "LiDAR." However, it may be more appropriate to consider this device as a "Time-of-Flight Infrared Rangefinder" (uses ToF to determine the range and not triangulation). This sensor can be connected to the existing TFmini Click board™ through a 1x4 1.25mm pitch connector.

TFmini Click accessories 1 image

TFmini S LiDAR sensor measures the distance to an object as close as 10 centimeters and as far as 12 meters without any problem. Besides low-cost, small-size, and low-power consumption, TFmini Plus also improves the frame rate, uses both UART and I2C interface for communication with the MCU, introduces IP65 enclosures, and optimizes various compensation algorithms. As with all LiDAR sensors, the 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. The TFmini S LiDAR sensor does not use laser light for ranging. Instead, it contains an integrated LED and optics, so they are marked under the name "LiDAR." However, it may be more appropriate to consider this device as a "Time-of-Flight Infrared Rangefinder" (uses ToF to determine the range and not triangulation). This sensor can be connected to the existing TFmini Click board™ through a 1x4 1.25mm pitch connector.

TFmini Click accessories 2 image

Used MCU Pins

mikroBUS™ mapper

NC
NC
AN
NC
NC
RST
NC
NC
CS
NC
NC
SCK
NC
NC
MISO
NC
NC
MOSI
Power Supply
3.3V
3.3V
Ground
GND
GND
NC
NC
PWM
NC
NC
INT
UART TX
PD8
TX
UART RX
PD9
RX
I2C Clock
PF1
SCL
I2C Data
PF0
SDA
Power Supply
5V
5V
Ground
GND
GND
1

Take a closer look

Schematic

TFmini Click Schematic schematic

Step by step

Project assembly

Fusion for PIC v8 front image hardware assembly

Start by selecting your development board and Click board™. Begin with the UNI-DS v8 as your development board.

Fusion for PIC v8 front image hardware assembly
GNSS2 Click front image hardware assembly
SiBRAIN for PIC32MZ1024EFK144 front image hardware assembly
GNSS2 Click complete accessories setup image hardware assembly
v8 SiBRAIN Access MB 1 - upright/background hardware assembly
Necto image step 2 hardware assembly
Necto image step 3 hardware assembly
Necto image step 4 hardware assembly
NECTO Compiler Selection Step Image hardware assembly
NECTO Output Selection Step Image hardware assembly
Necto image step 6 hardware assembly
Necto image step 7 hardware assembly
Necto image step 8 hardware assembly
Necto image step 9 hardware assembly
Necto image step 10 hardware assembly
Necto PreFlash Image hardware assembly

Track your results in real time

Application Output

After pressing the "FLASH" button on the left-side panel, it is necessary to open the UART terminal to display the achieved results. By clicking on the Tools icon in the right-hand panel, multiple different functions are displayed, among which is the UART Terminal. Click on the offered "UART Terminal" icon.

UART Application Output Step 1

Once the UART terminal is opened, the window takes on a new form. At the top of the tab are two buttons, one for adjusting the parameters of the UART terminal and the other for connecting the UART terminal. The tab's lower part is reserved for displaying the achieved results. Before connecting, the terminal has a Disconnected status, indicating that the terminal is not yet active. Before connecting, it is necessary to check the set parameters of the UART terminal. Click on the "OPTIONS" button.

UART Application Output Step 2

In the newly opened UART Terminal Options field, we check if the terminal settings are correct, such as the set port and the Baud rate of UART communication. If the data is not displayed properly, it is possible that the Baud rate value is not set correctly and needs to be adjusted to 115200. If all the parameters are set correctly, click on "CONFIGURE".

UART Application Output Step 3

The next step is to click on the "CONNECT" button, after which the terminal status changes from Disconnected to Connected in green, and the data is displayed in the Received data field.

UART Application Output Step 4

Software Support

Library Description

This library contains API for TFmini Click driver.

Key functions:

  • tfmini_get_firmware_version - This function reads the sensor firmware version

  • tfmini_get_measurement - This function reads the output data frame and obtains the distance, strength and temperature values from it

  • tfmini_send_frame - This function sends a command frame to the sensor

Open Source

Code example

This example can be found in NECTO Studio. Feel free to download the code, or you can copy the code below.

/*!
 * @file main.c
 * @brief TFmini Click Example.
 *
 * # Description
 * This example demonstrates the use of TFmini click board by reading the measurements
 * from the attached TFmini-S or TFmini Plus sensors.
 *
 * The demo application is composed of two sections :
 *
 * ## Application Init
 * Initializes the driver and the click board, and reads the firmware version of the attached sensor.
 *
 * ## Application Task
 * Reads the target distance, signal strength and the internal sensor temperature every 100ms approximately,
 * and displays the results on the USB UART.
 *
 * @author Stefan Filipovic
 *
 */

#include "board.h"
#include "log.h"
#include "tfmini.h"

static tfmini_t tfmini;
static log_t logger;

void application_init ( void ) 
{
    log_cfg_t log_cfg;        /**< Logger config object. */
    tfmini_cfg_t tfmini_cfg;  /**< Click config object. */

    /** 
     * Logger initialization.
     * Default baud rate: 115200
     * Default log level: LOG_LEVEL_DEBUG
     * @note If USB_UART_RX and USB_UART_TX 
     * are defined as HAL_PIN_NC, you will 
     * need to define them manually for log to work. 
     * See @b LOG_MAP_USB_UART macro definition for detailed explanation.
     */
    LOG_MAP_USB_UART( log_cfg );
    log_init( &logger, &log_cfg );
    log_info( &logger, " Application Init " );

    // Click initialization.
    tfmini_cfg_setup( &tfmini_cfg );
    TFMINI_MAP_MIKROBUS( tfmini_cfg, MIKROBUS_1 );
    tfmini_drv_interface_selection ( &tfmini_cfg, TFMINI_DRV_SEL_UART );
    if ( TFMINI_OK != tfmini_init( &tfmini, &tfmini_cfg ) ) 
    {
        log_error( &logger, " Communication init." );
        for ( ; ; );
    }
    
    if ( TFMINI_OK != tfmini_default_cfg ( &tfmini ) )
    {
        log_error( &logger, " Default configuration." );
        for ( ; ; );
    }
    
    uint32_t fw_version = 0;
    if ( TFMINI_OK == tfmini_get_firmware_version ( &tfmini, &fw_version ) )
    {
        log_printf( &logger, " FW Version: 0x%.6LX\r\n", fw_version );
    }
    Delay_ms( 1000 );
    
    log_info( &logger, " Application Task " );
}

void application_task ( void ) 
{
    int16_t distance = 0, strength = 0;
    float temperature = 0;
    if ( TFMINI_OK == tfmini_get_measurement ( &tfmini, &distance, &strength, &temperature ) ) 
    {
        log_printf( &logger, " Target distance: %d cm\r\n", distance );
        log_printf( &logger, " Signal strength: %d\r\n", strength );
        log_printf( &logger, " Sensor temperature: %.2f C\r\n\n", temperature );
    }
}

void main ( void ) 
{
    application_init( );

    for ( ; ; ) 
    {
        application_task( );
    }
}

// ------------------------------------------------------------------------ END

Additional Support

Resources