Electromagnetic Spiderman Webshooter Railgun / Grappling Hook

spiderman grapple hook rail gun

As technology continues to advance, make-believe props and technology from movies are coming closer and closer to reality. [Patrick Priebe] has managed to put together a working Spiderman Webshooter with the help of electromagnets!

He’s built a tiny coil gun that puts out 100 Joules of energy using a 350V capacitor bank, which straps cleanly to his wrist over top of a Spiderman costume glove. It makes the classic high-pitched hum as it charges, and launches a small barbed brass arrow capable of skewering Styrofoam.

He didn’t stop there though! He’s created a handy little winch using a small high-powered brushless motor with an ESC. A weighted disk acts as a flywheel to increase the pulling power of the fishing line, and he’s built it on a pivot so when you launch it, the fishing line just slips off the end without resistance. To engage, you flip it back perpendicular to the line and turn on the motor.

This isn’t his first ridiculously cool gadget either — remember his 1kW Laser Pulse pistol?  Or how about the 1W Iron Man Repulsor beam?

[Thanks Tom!]

30 thoughts on “Electromagnetic Spiderman Webshooter Railgun / Grappling Hook

    1. With it’s capacitor bank, it might’ve worked as a rail gun, wonder if he tried it? Can you do relatively low-power with railguns? I have a feeling coilguns are better for lower-velocity stuff.

      1. Just to go on, I wonder if a SMOT (simple magnetic over-unity toy) would be any good for launching things like this? Even just as an accelerator, before or after the coil gun (probably before). Look SMOT up on Google, it’s one of those almost perpetual-motion devices that uses permanent magnets to launch projectiles.

        It’s -this close- to working perpetual motion, tho nobody’s managed to close the loop yet. Probably the layout of the magnetic fields will make it impossible. It’s still very impressive, both to mess with the heads of people who know their thermodynamics, and as a cool toy.

          1. Yes, I know it’s impossible. I was saying that it’s probably the layout of the magnetic fields that make it so. Could be something else, but it’s probably that.

      2. Perhaps, but you would still need a lot more current from the caps (or energy) to get the projectile to any good speeds. Again, he is using quite a light projectile so it might work.

    2. Also they’re easy to confuse, since many computer games mix the two up. Wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of media did.

  1. I wonder how long it will be until he gets that sharpened brass, barbed tip embedded in his palm or finger. Anyone who uses guns will tell you that you never point a weapon at anyone or yourself. Whenever his wrist bends forward, he is essentially doing exactly that.

    As cool as this thing looks, it just screams hospital visit waiting to happen.

        1. Ohh sure chicks dig scars argument :-D I used to play with something much more powerful than that and even if you pay special attention and take measures to avoid accidental discharges accidents just happen from time to time.

  2. This may just be me, but is anyone else getting more of a Scorpion (Mortal Kombat of course) vibe rather than a Spider-Man one?

      1. I was wondering how it could be Spiderman when it couldn’t do a web. Yeah he does have the single filament option but that’s supposed to let you swing from buildings, not injure people, then automatically retrieve the evidence.

  3. Out of curiosity, what part of the projectile is magnetic? Brass isn’t. So is it the screw holding the brass tip to the barrel? The barrel looks like it’s maybe just the barrel of a ball point pen or something similar.

    Maybe he’s got a permanent magnet in there somewhere?

    1. A coil gun doesn’t require a permanent magnet projectile; it requires a projectile with a low electrical resistance. The coil(s) induce a magnetic field in the projectile; said field induces an electrical current; said current induces another magnetic field with the opposite polarity of the gun’s field. The two fields repel, and the projectile (having a lower mass) gets pushed away.

        1. There’s two versions, induction and reluctance coilguns.

          They usually work like regular solenoids, because the inductance version actually requires high frequency oscillation or extremely fast current rise rates to work.

  4. That brass arrow could be pretty handy to use at parties for snatching hors d’oeuvre when the hosts try to keep the trays away from you. (c:

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