The conception, design, fabrication and operation of an electric motor powered by solenoids. Most electric motors use either one electromagnetic coil interacting with a magnet, or two coils interacting with each other.
source/image: Jeffrey Weng
This design uses a solenoid — an electromagnetic coil that propels a shaft one way or another — to drive a central drive shaft.Utilizing a little accumulation of materials and only a couple of essential instruments, Connor Lee and Jeffrey Weng, University of Washington understudies both, made themselves one cool little motor./hackaday
The easiest way to approach a project like this would have been to use a microcontroller. A simple program running on an Arduino could have easily provided the timing to switch power to each solenoid in succession.
Jeffrey Weng and Connor Lee, however, took a much more interesting approach by controlling timing via a simple distributor.This works in the same way a spark distributor on a combustion engine would have worked, except it’s actually providing the power to actuate the solenoids instead of providing just an ignition spark.