Distance Measurement Sensors

Distance Measurement Sensors - MaxBotix
distance measurement sensors

HRLV-Short-Range-EZ Sensor Line

The HRLV-ShortRange-EZ sensor line is the most cost-effective solution for close range applications where precision range-finding, low-voltage operation, and low-cost are needed.

Great for People Detection and Autonomous Navigation.

low power ultrasonic sensor

XL-MaxSonar-EZ Sensor Line

The XL-MaxSonar-EZ sensor line has high power output along with real-time auto sensitivity adjustments for changing conditions like temperature, voltage and acoustic or electrical noise.

Great for Motion Detection, Autonomous Navigation, and Collision Avoidance.

trash sonar

XL-TrashSonar-WR Sensor Line

The XL-TrashSonar-WR sensor line provides users with robust range information in air. High-powered acoustic output along with real-time auto calibration for changing conditions (supply voltage, acoustic noise, or electric noise).

Great for Tank Level Measurement, Waste Level Measurement, and Bin Level Measurement.



Understanding the intricacies and applications of a Distance Measurement Sensor is crucial for your commercial operations. These sensors, fundamental in measuring distances with high precision, play a pivotal role in various industrial applications.

Before delving into the details, it’s worth noting that MaxBotix stands as a leading provider in this field. Their long range of expertise and range of products could be the solution you’re seeking for your ultrasonic sensor needs.

The Essence of Distance Measurement Sensors

Distance Measurement Sensors, including ultrasonic sensors and inductive sensors, are essential tools in modern industry. They are designed to measure short ranges and distances accurately, which is vital in numerous applications. Their functionality ranges from basic proximity sensing to complex applications requiring precise distance measurements over an entire measuring range.

These sensors operate on various principles, such as ultrasonic waves in ultrasonic sensors, which emit sound waves and calculate distance based on the time it takes for the echo to return. Inductive sensors, on the other hand, use electromagnetic fields to move light to detect metal objects. The choice of sensor depends on the specific requirements of your application, including the environment, the type of objects measured, and the required precision.

Ultrasonic sensors are particularly popular due to their versatility and reliability. They are capable of measuring distances to a wide range of materials and surfaces, making them suitable for diverse industrial applications. They also offer the advantage of non-contact measurement, which is essential in situations where physical contact with the object could be detrimental or impractical for precise measurement.

MaxBotix, with its extensive experience in ultrasonic technology, offers a range of sensors that cater to various industrial requirements. Whether you need a sensor with a wide measuring range or one with a high speed and degree of accuracy, MaxBotix’s portfolio likely has a solution tailored to your needs.

What are distance sensors?

The distance sensor for your application can be used for quick measurement and obstacle avoidance in your application data.

Distance sensors measure the time of flight and distance by emitting a signal and measuring how long it takes to return to the transducer.

These sensors are used to determine how close an object is without any physical contact necessary.

While using an ultrasonic sensor for distance detection laser light show, you can detect transparent and irregularly-shaped targets reliably.

Depending on the technology you use, distance sensors can also be used to detect proximity in certain applications.

Proximity vs Distance sensors

Distance sensors can measure distance from an object by measuring distance. Proximity sensors, on the other hand, are used to detect objects in a particular range without specifying how far away they are. This means that proximity sensors will be triggered by closer items that distance sensors would identify as ‘out of range’.

Using Ultrasonic Sensors for Distance Measurement?

Ultrasonic sensors, also known as Sonar sensors, are among the most common distance-measuring sensors, as they measure the distance to objects by transmitting high-frequency ultrasonic waves.

Ultrasonic Sensors: How They Work

  1. A high-frequency sound wave is emitted by the ultrasonic sensor towards the target.
  2. Sound waves are picked up by the target.
  3. After the sound waves bounce off, they reflect back to the ultrasonic sensor.
  4. Using the return time of a sound wave, we can measure the distance.


Ultrasonic Sensor Applications

Now that we’ve understood how it works, we’ll take a look at what it’s used for. Here are the common ultrasonic distance sensor applications:

Advantages of Ultrasonic Sensors

  • Detects distance through sound waves, which aren’t affected by object color or transparency.
  • Works well in places where the lighting is limited
  • Low power consumption compared to other solutions
  • Ultrasonic sensors can interface to different microcontrollers.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Sensors

  • The detection range is limited (16.5 meters).
  • May be difficult to detect fast-moving objects due to a slower refresh rate.
  • Objects with soft surfaces are difficult to detect.

Terms You Should Know for Distance Sensing

Resolution: the smallest distance change reflected light that a sensor is capable of detecting.

For example, MaxBotix sensors vary in resolution, measuring ranges from 1mm, 1.6mm, 1cm, to 1in.

Refresh Rate: A sensor’s refresh rate, typically measured in Hertz, is important with moving objects or targets. A higher refresh rate means that more readings will be sent to the sensor per second, which is critical if your laser or sensor is moving toward a fixed object at a fast pace.

Range: A sensor’s range is the measurement range or distance, from minimum to maximum, at which it is capable of providing accurate readings.


Do I need an external power supply for my distance sensor?

Yes, external power supplies are necessary to power your sensor, MaxBotix sensors have very low power requirements, so they can be powered by battery or even solar power.

Can I use a distance sensor indoors?

Yes! Ultrasonic sensors can effectively be used in indoor environments to measure distance. You should be mindful of environmental issues in your sensor selection process. Temperature and condensation may influence your sensor choice, even for indoor use.


In conclusion, distance measurement sensors can help you measure distance in various situations. There are many types of sensors that function best for different applications. Knowing which type to use and how it works will ensure you get the most out of your sensor.

For application and product inquiries you should contact us at techsupport@maxbotix.com for further assistance.

Not sure if our sensors would be the right fit for your application?

Click the button below to contact our team to discuss your project needs.

In conclusion, Distance Measurement Sensors, especially those utilizing ultrasonic technology, are indispensable in modern industry for their accuracy, versatility, and reliability. MaxBotix stands out as a reliable source for these sensors, offering a range of products that can meet diverse industrial requirements.

If you’re looking for a trusted provider of industrial ultrasonic distance sensors that work well, MaxBotix is worth considering. Their expertise and wide range of products make them a go-to source for your distance measurement needs.

For more information and to explore how MaxBotix can assist you in finding the perfect ultrasonic sensor for your operations, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. Your operational efficiency and precision are just a conversation away.

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