This is a proximity distance sensor that can sense obstacles in front of the sensor upto 4 meters. It is a highly accurate sensor with precision around 1mm and accuracy around +/-5mm. Very few sensors can detect obstacles at this accuracy. Compared to the VL53L0x and VL53l3x, it has a programmable sensor array that can be used to vary the sensor Field of View(FoV). You can also detect the independent sensor readings. Readings vary slightly with ambient light and object color.
This distance sensor contains a tiny invisible laser source and a matching sensor. It can detect the "time of flight", or how long the light has taken to bounce back to the sensor. Since it uses a very narrow light source, it is good for determining the distance of only the surface directly in front of it. Unlike sonars that bounce ultrasonic waves, the 'cone' of sensing is very narrow. Unlike IR distance sensors that try to measure the amount of light bounced, the VL53L1X is much more precise and doesn't have linearity problems or 'double imaging' where you can't tell if an object is very far or very close.
VL53L1X is an advanced time of flight (ToF) laser range sensor, with precise measurement range up to 4 m, rapid measurement frequency up to 50 Hz. These sensors are different from traditional infrared sensors, VL53L1X uses STT of technology to measure the absolute distance regardless of the target color and reflectivity.
1x Laser Range Finder Distance Sensor Time of Flight VL53L1X