Using 8 Benwake TFmini Plus lidars with Cube orange plus

Hi, I’m exploring Obstacle avoidance with a quadcopter with Cube orange plus and Benwake TFmini Plus lidars. I got 8 lidars but then realized the ones I got are not the I2C ones but UART ones. Can I still make this setup work or should I have to get the I2C ones only?
Can we use any additional addon boards(arduino nano, Rpi pico) or Multiplexers or something to make this work at all.

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Yes you can,but you need Patrick to come along,and advise you,he did the same thing a couple of years ago,sorry I cannot help more.


Thanks for the reply, I have gone through his posts and found them helpful. I’ll try a bit and see how far I could get.
For anyone else looking for this here are the threads I found useful:

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the problem your going to have is finding a controller with enough fast serial ports for all the lidars, thats why he converts them to i2c first using an arduino board so they can then all be connected to i2c of the main arduino controller, then its sent as mavlink to the flight controller.


I understood that, but in his POC with TFmini build I couldn’t figure out the connections under the Attiny85 DIP chips

It doesnt have to be an attiny, you can use any arduino boards, the lidar will be connected to the chips serial port and the i2c wires to its i2c port, you can look up the pinout of the controller to find out what specific pins it is.

I am talking about this particular setup as this used only one Arduino pro mini and takes input from all the 6 lidars at once, I am planning to change this for 8 lidars(6 in the plane and one on top and one on bottom)

I wish @ppoirier could help me with this

that’s because that poc setup uses vl53l0x i2c lidars that can have the address changed, so you don’t need the attiny to convert them to i2c.

your tfmini plus can be changed to i2c mode, so you could make it i2c with only one arduino but your going to have to do that yourself. none of pporierers examples will work with a tfmini plus i2c out the box.

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Thank you for your help. I have gone into some more details, other setups and finally got in touch with the benewake team and am able to successfully convert the lidars into I2C mode using their GUI tool without the need to use any additional board. I have implemented obstacle avoidance with all 8 lidars in action and working as expected.

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can you share the gui tool?

Sorry for late reply. follow this link to benewake product documents page. select your lidar and you’ll get the download links for datasheet, manual and gui (for similar class products) .
I have configured and converted TF mini plus, TF02 Pro lidars from UART to I2C and some other parameters as well for my use case.
You have to connect the Lidar to PC using a TTL to USB converter. Select your lidar, com port and baud rate and click connect. Once you connect the device, the graph starts showing distance reading. The commands for configuration (can be referred from user manual) are to be entered in the custom commands box below the graph and clicking send button.

Note: Manual shows the response column as well. whereas in GUI there is no output of response or feedback to check whether the particular command is sent to lidar or not. (Contact Benewake if you need further details on this)

The only way to find out if the mode change is successful is the graph stops showing the distance reading after changing mode. Other configuration changes can’t be verified in GUI. Some of them can reflect in changes of output formats after connecting to some controller or Ardupilot boards using I2C.

Once you convert the device communication to I2C mode, you can not send any further commands through GUI. Hence, make sure you change the I2C address of the device (if needed) and any other configurations before changing the mode

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