Students Build an iPhone-controlled Coilgun

Controlling a coilgun from your iPhone? I guess there's an app for that too! University of Arkansas students Chris Farnell and Michael Helms designed and built a Wi-Fi-controlled optically triggered coil gun for their senior design project while studying Electrical Engineering. The students took one year to develop the nifty coilgun.

Coilguns are projectile accelerators that use electromagnets to pull and then push a magnetic projectile, accelerating it to high velocities. Coilguns are either single-stage or multi-stage; a single-stage coilgun uses one electromagnet to propel the projectile, where a multistage uses two or more electromagnets in succession, each increasing the velocity of the projectile rapidly. In this case, the students built a four-stage coilgun.

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