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Can Pixma Printer/Scanners be cannibalized to act as scanners only?

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Most devices of this type do a self-test when they power on, so if the brain detects the feet are missing, it stops right there.

I've never seen one of those devices with a way to let it do scan-only.

Unfortunately if you cut ribbon cables, that may not be an good thing.

Without getting into reverse-engineering the digital signaling, it might have been possible to simply rig each sensor (e.g. ink-empty, cover open, paper jam) so that the device will go out of error-mode (e.g. pass the power on self-test)

Often the sensors are simple proximity, optical, or just switches which can be rigged to be closed or open.

From a time/cost perspective, these go for $20 on eBay, and those have a working printer.