There is a reason why laser products have that "Do not remove the case" warning stickers on them. I would imagine though that it would be fine to remove the board from the casing as long as you don't have it plugged into a PC at the time! Especially as the R200 can be purchased as a case-less circuit board module for integration into products as well as the USB developer-kit version.
I have seen 'tear-down' articles that have taken the camera apart and closely analyzed its individual components, and I have not heard of harm coming to those investigators. As an example, I recently found an interesting article on wiring hacks for the USB version of the R200.
As for the glass cover ...looking at my own R200, I note that the camera lens is not covered by the glassy surface of the camera's casing front-piece. Therefore it is likely to be aesthetic rather than functional.