TF-Mini-Obstacle Avoidance Issue 3.5.5

Hello Guys and my apologies if typed on the wrong part of the forum, but i am new here.
From all the TF-Mini posts i read, i was unable to see if anyone else has noticed, what i noticed in mine.
Pix2.1 Cube with TF-Mini on serial.
Serial 4 PROTOCOL set to 9 and 115 Baud.
AVOID_DIST_MAX set to 5
AVOID_ENABLE test in 1,2 and 3
AVOID_MARGIN set to 4
RNGFND_ADDR set to 1
RNGFND_TYPE set to 8
RNGFND_ORIENT set to 0
max_cm to 1200 and min_cm to 5, scaling to 1, settle to 50ms and the Lidar has been switched with the Benewake GUI to Pix Mode.
I can see the proximity window and indoors i can measure up to 11m (have not had more space) and outside up to 5.7m on a pretty good day.
The Issue starts when the sensor outside and it gets beyond its range, when this happens you can instantly see on the screen the proximity reading going from anything, to 1,0m.
When this happens i have no issues navigating on AltHold, but if i switch to loiter, i can fly in any direction besides pitch forward.

Any ideas anyone?

I’m running a tfmini on 3.5.5 no issues, they are on a pixhack (2.8.4) thou you need to read up on the settings, as recommended there limitation with the tfmini , it does not see under 30 cm and outdoor with very low light performance drops from 10m to 6m … Also check your 5v volt as the tfmini really should be on its on dedicated 5v bec and not powered thru the servo outputs, I saw drops of 0.4-0.9 v when connected to the servo so my 5v power source on the pixhawk would fluctuate 5.0 to 4.4 (not good) , now on it own 5v and no issues with 5v. Thou I see you are using it as a avoidance setup, not sure if there something to adjust for that , as I use it as a altitude input

max_cm to 900 - 1000
min_cm to 30

here the param that I have
RNGFND_ADDR,0
RNGFND_FUNCTION,0
RNGFND_GAIN,0.8
RNGFND_GNDCLEAR,12
RNGFND_MAX_CM,900
RNGFND_MIN_CM,30
RNGFND_OFFSET,0
RNGFND_ORIENT,25
RNGFND_PIN,-1
RNGFND_POS_X,0
RNGFND_POS_Y,0
RNGFND_POS_Z,0
RNGFND_PWRRNG,0
RNGFND_RMETRIC,1
RNGFND_SCALING,3
RNGFND_SETTLE,0
RNGFND_STOP_PIN,-1
RNGFND_TYPE,8

Thank you for your reply.

Yes I don’t need it for altitude control, since I mainly need it to keep be away from a wall to be precise.
If I was able to use it as distance control would be perfect but for now, just making it work properly will be great.
The issue arrives only when the max measurement distance of the sensor is exceeded and the proximity screen shows that there is a obstacle 1m ahead instead of showing no obstacle at all.

@ppoirier I know that you have worked with TF mini your self. Can you please when you have time look into this post?

@MerkaTony
Yes , as you know my tests were made within 6 Meter , that is basically the typical range for an indoor ( and non gps) avoidance system.
For the outdoor tests, I am planning to do some outdoor test as soon as they forecast fews days of mild temperature here in Canada.

@ppoirier
First of all i am sorry for tagging your name, but since new, i dont really know how this whole forum works.
I did not know that you had not run any outdoor test.
I can you do, may i suggest you test the TF in a forward orientation beyond its range and see what the radar screen with come up with?
In case from your side you need anything from me to test in a certain way since most of the time, weather here is such that we can test, please dont hesitate to ask.

@MerkaTony That’s OK , I will proceed to this test this week and keep you informed here :wink:

I did some recent tst and i got up to 8m on outdoors, i need to do some more range testing as soon as i have some spare time.

@nicodh Hello Nicolas,
In my tests i was able to get up to 7,3m, the whole problem occurs when the sensor goes beyond its limit, in which case i get to see from telemetry 1m on the Radar screen and instantly i get no forward movement. I remind that all this i get to see on Loiter mode.

i did not had that issue, at least in my tests. I will search on the logs and try to look for these errors.
I’ll keep you posted

@nicodh Have you the sensor facing forward? if yes. Would you mind send me your parameters to compare with mine?

Todays update,

Tested more settings and issue persisted. Hopefully tomorrow i will have a new FTDI and test the sensor standalone with the Benewake software and see what “values” does it come up with when you point it out of range.

Look here , I can override the problem with Arduino How to make the TFMINI rangefinder talk I2C

Dear @ppoirier,

Thank you for your tests and reply. I will get a nano on my hands and try you I2C mod and workaround.
So as it seems the TF Mini gives a minimum value when its over its limit!
Would be nice if Benewake would also fix this firmware side to give maximum distance when limit is exceeded so that it does not always have to be through an arduino.
Once again thank you for looking into this!

Hello @nicodh & @ppoirier as also @lautaro ,

this morning i have gotten an email from @Siya not tested yet, but i will bench test it later today and share my findings as also make a small video and post it online. Here is the Original e-mail from Siya and since i am new here, i am into taking informations and suggestions on where this might be posted to help other people also (in case it works).

Dear Antonios,

Our engineer find a way to meet your requirement to fix distance greater than maximum range to be 12m without upgrade TFmini firmware, could you pls try below methods and let me know whether it well works ?

Pls check below steps and the attached two pictures FYI:
1, Use USB to TTI UART converter to connect TFmini with PC,
2, Open TFmini windows display program or Serial Assistant software,
3, Send command 42 57 02 00 00 00 00 20,
4, After set up, then you could use the TFmini with 12m range data for distance greater than max range.

Any questions, pls tell.

Thanks & best regards.

Siya

Hi, Antonios. Thank you for helping publish here. I attach the two pictures here for reference too.

Pls share your questions if there are any.
If it works, pls share your test here too. Thanks a lot.

1 Like

After Banch testing both with the Tf GUI and MP, after following the steps of the email from benewake, the results are as follows. I remind that my test TF unit is connected serial on my 2.1PX

On the the MP Radar screen i now get an 11.2m value when i am point the unit in the sky and correct distance values on objects that i had around me for 7m(i did not test in outdoor anything more than that).
I run a series of tests where i would point the sensor on an object and then direct to the sky and the value would change instantly to 11.2m
Since wind conditions and the fact we are expecting rain at any moment, does not allow me to fly and test with actual objects during flight if the sensor will work as expected, i am unable to give additional information, but so far now it seems to respond as it should.
I would like to thank everyone in this post for their responses and Siya from Benewake for there action and hope that this thread my assist other people in the near future.
As soon as flight results come back, i will keep everyone updated.

2 Likes

Hi, this is a real life test.

I think there is a small issue with measurement, the obstacle was a polycarbonate wall, maybe that was a problem for the laser.

TFmini has a IP65 protection version ready soon, anyone that interested in IP65 weatherproof application for this LiDAR, pls check more from Benewake. Contact bw (at) benewake (dot) com for more details.

TFmini now upgraded to new version with IP65 protection. More details below:

"In order to meet the user’s requirement in harsh conditions, we newly added IP65 level waterproof shell to TFmini!
In addition, the switching value function is also added. First, let’s take a look at the changes in appearance.
TFmini%20LiDAR%20sensor%20IP65%20protection%20outdoor%20use

Left one is the update, is it cool? : )

Those who don’t know TFmini before can get familiar with product through the following introduction.

TFmini Product Introduction
TFmini is a milestone for Benewake to promote the process of low cost LiDAR.
With its unique optical, structural, and electronic designs, the product possesses 3 major advantages: low cost, tiny volume and low power consumption. The built-in algorithm adapted to indoor and outdoor environments can guarantee an excellent ranging performance at a low cost and in a tiny volume, which highly expands the application fields and scenarios of LiDAR and lays a solid foundation for future “eyes” in the smart era.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.benewake.com/tfmini.html

The highlights of TFmini updating

Protective shell

Switching value

Protective shell
In order to meet TFmini’s requirement in some harsh environments, we have launched protective accessory that allow the TFmini to meet IP65 protection level, while only increasing a little volume.

Switching value
We update the firmware so that TFmini can output switching value. Current functions are:
① The standard UART communication can be switched to the I/O push-pull output via a serial command, and it can also be switched back through the command to achieve one-touch switching.
② The distance threshold value of switching can be changed via the serial command to increase the flexibility of uses;
③ Default output states: if there are obstacles (range value within the certain distance), TFmini output high level of 3.3V; if no obstacle or out of range (ranging distance outside the certain distance), TFmini output low level of 0V. The the output level can be changed according to requirements.

Coming soon: Wide power supply voltage of 5-28V; upgrade type TFmini which meets IP65 protection level without customized protective shell; output switching value signal without firmware update requirement and switching value output high level up to 24V. "