IIC protocol Firmware Development Task for TFmini LiDAR sensor

Hi, Ardupilot talents.
Recently the ArduCopter firmware 3.6.2 and Rover 3.4.2 has been released, which is compatible with Benewake LiDAR TF02 and TFmini via serial port. With the new firmware, our customers are allowed to set RNGFND_TYPE as 19 or 20 to choose Benewake LiDARs.
Benewake is about to release TFmini via IIC protocol. To add the TFmini IIC protocol to the latest firmware, we would like to coorporate with APM developer.
Kindly pls check below Datasheet of I2C TFmini if you interested, and contact me anytime if there are any questions. Thanks. : )

01_BenewakeFirmwareDevelopmentTask.pdf (795.8 KB)

02_TFmini-I²C-Datasheet V1.1 EN.pdf (401.6 KB)

TFmini link you could find on Ardupilot partner IR-LOCK:

I’m not quite sure of the best category for this but I’ve moved it to “Development team” for now 'cuz this is probably better than “blog” which made it appear on the front page of ArduPilot.

@rmackay9 Thank you for your kind help :gift::+1::sunflower:

@Siya any update on this ?
People are buying more and more of the I2C and there is no driver yet , and I know some talented guys here that can make it work and we need it now.


@Siya Hello! I would buy many TFmini I2C if I could use it on ardupilot. Please develop a driver as soon as possible! Using it on serial is not ideal, as I need the serial ports for other accessories. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help test. Thanks!


@ppoirier @vosair Hi, Excuse me for late reply. Our engineer tried to contact with some talents for developing the driver, but there’s not much progress yet, I’ve forwarded your feedback, hope there will be solution soon. Thanks. Best regards. Siya


@Siya , please excuse my instance, but your customers have unfilled expectations , and we have developers standing by.

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Thank you all for your kind support to Benewake, our FAE have been contacting with talents in Ardupilot, and will try to have the driver ready when our TFmini Plus I2C version is ready. Any questions, welcome to email support@benewake.com for further info. Thanks.

@Siya thanks for the update, is there preliminary time estimate for that?

I just bought a TFmini I2C and learned that there is no driver. The thought that it would be no driver for this unit in Ardupilot never crossed my mind. Please fix this so I can use my TFmini. Serial port is not an option for me.

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Hi, Joel. I am the FAE of Benewake, Kinven.

There is no driver for TFmini IIC in Ardupilot. I am sorry, we have no plan to write the driver for TFmini IIC.

But the TFmini Plus IIC will be OK in Ardupilot. If you want to use IIC in Ardupilot you can try TFmini Plus.

Best wishes.

Hi @Siya @Kinzo,
So just to make it clear, the TFmini plus I2C shall work out of the box after setting the appropriate parameters?

I believe it could not work out of the box because it has serial protocol enabled by default, not the i2c.
And you possibly will need to upgrade firmware of the sensor, because Arducopter requires 2.0.3 or higher.

BTW @Siya @Kinzo please clarify where the latest firmware is published? I didn’t found it on your web site.

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And the procedure step by step for upgrading, it would be soooo nice! I bought 2 of them, but no I2C by default…

Yes, the firmware of copter is leatest version: http://firmware.ardupilot.org/Copter/latest/

You can refer to the document which is attached.

Application of TFmini Plus IIC communication in Pixhawk.pdf (710 KB)

Hi @Kinzo,
Is it possible you can share a link to the plus fw and to the update tool?
According to your docs you required that each user should contact you, it might be easier for us to get a download link here in the forum.

Only higher version firmware is supported at the moment,please contact with Benewake FAE to obtain the firmware and upgrading tool.


If needed we can provide TFmini Plus with IIC protocol by default.

The TFmini Plus which serial number is " T ************ " do not need to upgrade.If you have lower version TFmini Plus we can offer the software of upgrading.

Here you are.

(Attachment 1_TFmini Plus firmware upgrading.rar is missing)

The TF Mini Plus is shipped with UART communications and is pretty much useless as a sensor due to contention for serial ports. I2C (or CAN) is required to allow multiple, addressable sensors.

To change to I2C communications, we must first connect to the TFMini Plus via FTDI/USB adapter.

Benewake offer a very limited app to test the device. Windows only. This requires connection to the sensor via a FTDI/USB adapter.

Benewake documentation for the TF Mini Plus is misleading and omits a lot of critical information.

Documentation shows 5A 05 0A 01 6A as the command to change to I2C mode, where 6A is a checksum that you must calculate from the hexadecimal addition of the preceding values. Not exactly an out of the box solution.

Having entered the sequence then the new settings must be saved with a second command 5A 04 11 6F

At this point the sensor is supposed to communicate via I2C with the default address of 0x10

According to the documentation, once in I2C mode, further UART comms are disabled.

Older sensors with serial numbers starting with S do not seem to work in I2C mode. Sensors with numbers beginning with T work with I2C and UART.