Occipital's 3D structure sensor scans environments with an iPad to create 3-dimensional models. In this teardown, we disassemble one to determine what is inside.
About the Structure Sensor
Occipital's 3D Structure Sensor began as a $100,000 Kickstarter that collected over 10 times that amount. The device is designed to attach to iPads or other devices and collect 3-dimensional depth information about the environment. All About Circuits received a sensor from Occipital in late December for the purpose of a Teardown.
There are several iPad apps for the structure sensor, as well as a Standard Developers Kit (SDK), and forums with information for your hacking pleasure.
The video below is by Occipital and shows how the structure sensor works.
The structure sensor is built around an anodized aluminum body. Disassembly begins by removing four screws on the bottom of the sensor with a T5 screwdriver.
To remove the primary circuit board, you must first detach two flexible printed circuit cable connectors (FPC) and desolder one red and one black wire on either side of the FPC in the middle of the board. This allows the main circuit board to be removed. Remove two more screws that hold the power and data connector circuit boards in place and then look at the opposite end to see another screw buried deep inside the case. All visible screws should be removed before attempting to remove the lens side of the case.
Once the three screws inside the case are removed, the lens falls away and provides access to the front of the device. Two screws hold the IR emitter in place, and four screws hold the IR camera. Removal of the USB and power connectors is easy once the IR camera is out of the way.
Do not attempt to remove the lens cover to the plastic carrier. The glue is quite strong and the glass is quite fragile. If you crack it, you should order a replacement of both pieces.
I was not able to positively identify this component based on its top side markings alone. Based on its footprint and proximity to the microcontroller, my best guess is that it is a serial EEPROM. If a reader knows, or I find out in the future, I'll update the article.
Occipital's 3D structure sensor is a well designed device that incorporates a great deal of electrical and mechanical engineering. Applications include virtual reality, augmented reality, cinema, interior design, autonomous robots/motion planning, and more.