PillCam Teardown
PillCam Teardown
The PillCam is a small camera that is swallowed to capture pictures of your
digestive tract for the diagnosis of disease.  Since your insurance generally
won't pay for one if you only want to dissect it, you have to swallow it and then
go on a bit of a treasure hunt for it.  Here is what the PillCam looks like when
you "find" it.  If you don't know where to look, go ask your parents.  
Here are the innards after they were carefully extracted from the housing.  I
lost count of the total number of profanities it took because my attention was
momentarily diverted by the near amputation of a digit.  A quick inventory
reveals the lens assembly on the left, the top and bottom board in the middle
(connected by a ribbon cable), batteries up top, and half of the housing on the
right.  It is pretty safe to say these things are not designed to come apart.  
Thats probably a good thing.  
Here is a close up of the lens assembly.  The lens is obviously fixed focus
and is actually composed of three separate lenses stacked on one another.
   
Based on what I know about my own insides, I'd say this is designed for
macro shots.  Probably not shooting a good pic of anything more than a
few centimeters away with it.  Speaking of macro photography, I suck at it.
Here is the lens assembly broken down a bit.  The piece in the upper right
corner actually comes apart at the black ring into two lenses.  
Peering through the lens is this baby right here.  It may be the worlds
smallest image sensor.  It is surrounded by four surface mount LEDs.  
There are a few other surface mount components here as well.  
My understanding of this setup is that the lights flash as the sensor
captures images.  They are then immediately transmitted to a unit that is
worn around the waist.  The images are stored in the external unit for
later retrieval.  I am fairly certain that rounding up the images is easier
than rounding up the pill if you know what I mean.
The PillCam is a small camera that is swallowed to capture pictures of your
digestive tract for the diagnosis of disease.  Since your insurance generally
won't pay for one if you only want to dissect it, you have to swallow it and then
go on a bit of a treasure hunt for it.  Here is what the PillCam looks like when
you "find" it.  If you don't know where to look, go ask your parents.  
Here are the innards after they were carefully extracted from the housing.  I
lost count of the total number of profanities it took because my attention was
momentarily diverted by the near amputation of a digit.  A quick inventory
reveals the lens assembly on the left, the top and bottom board in the middle
(connected by a ribbon cable), batteries up top, and half of the housing on the
right.  It is pretty safe to say these things are not designed to come apart.  
Thats probably a good thing.  
Here is a close up of the lens assembly.  The lens is obviously fixed focus
and is actually composed of three separate lenses stacked on one another.
   
Based on what I know about my own insides, I'd say this is designed for
macro shots.  Probably not shooting a good pic of anything more than a
few centimeters away with it.  Speaking of macro photography, I suck at it.
Here is the lens assembly broken down a bit.  The piece in the upper right
corner actually comes apart at the black ring into two lenses.  
Peering through the lens is this baby right here.  It may be the worlds
smallest image sensor.  It is surrounded by four surface mount LEDs.  
There are a few other surface mount components here as well.  
My understanding of this setup is that the lights flash as the sensor
captures images.  They are then immediately transmitted to a unit that is
worn around the waist.  The images are stored in the external unit for
later retrieval.  I am fairly certain that rounding up the images is easier
than rounding up the pill if you know what I mean.
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