If you have found out that you have skills in table tennis and you have a huge interest in the game, you might have already bought your own table tennis rackets, balls, and even a table. You know that practicing makes perfect, but not all people are blessed with a practice buddy with the same schedule, goals, and determination as you. Though noting can replace a determined practice partner, a table tennis robot can help you polish your skills.
A table tennis robot is a machine that is programmed to throw balls towards a fixed net opposite it at exact speed. It throws at intervals, and can be set differently to be able to throw balls at topspin, backspin, left sidespin, right sidespin or any way. Its robotic consistency makes it very efficient for improving your stroke mechanics. It is programmable to help it work like a real coach. Plus, it doesn’t get tired, doesn’t complain and doesn’t take much space. What a nice practice partner, right?
How to choose a table tennis robot
To choose the best table tennis robot suitable for you, here are the things you need to consider:
Before spending your hard-earned money on a robot, consider if you really need it. If you are not that good yet with the basics, it would be better to take some coaching lessons first to go through the basics. Not all beginners can deal with a table tennis robot, because they have too much speed and power while throwing balls. After you have somewhat mastered the basic strokes in table tennis consistently, then you can go practice some more with a robot.
This refers to how much ping pong balls it can hold. The bigger it is, the more balls it can hold. The capacity of the robot will greatly affect how often you need to pick up balls and refill the robot. But for some models that has a recycling net, this is not a problem, as it can collect and feed the balls automatically to itself to allow you to play non-stop.
Spin types and shot selection
One of the things a table tennis player must master is ball spin. A table tennis robot can imitate the spin given to ping pong balls by real players, but not all of them can produce all types of spin. Most can give you the basic types of ball spin or a combination of both. Some can’t do backspin, so it will be useless to choose those type of robot if you want to improve on backspin serve receive or against chopper style shots. Most expensive ping pong robot models can mimic all kinds of spins, including a combination of a two.
Also consider shot selection features of your robot. This can help you improve on how to react when presented with random shots. Most training-type table tennis robots come with a specific shot type selection.
Wired and wireless
This feature raises up convenience issues. Inexpensive robots often come with a wired remote that affects the distance from which you can only use the robot. Meanwhile, some robots come with wireless remotes that can be used from as far as 10 feet away or more.
Battery powered or AC powered
The issue here is, do you want a robot that is portable or a robot that can give you raw power? An AC-powered robot will be able to provide a player with more speed and power without being limited by battery life. Meanwhile, battery-powered robots are easier to carry along during your travels while still being able to deliver all types of shots and spins. There are also robots that are both battery and AC powered.
When it comes to technology, the more an item costs, the more features and capabilities it has. Don’t expect a cheaper table tennis robot to be as good as the considerably pricier one.
Best table tennis robots
Choosing a table tennis robot can be overwhelming, so here are some of the best and the most positively-reviewed amongst all them:
1. Butterfly Amicus ProfessionalThe Butterfly Amicus Professional Table Tennis Robot is jam-packed with all the robot capabilities you can as for in a ping pong machine. It has three separate launch wheels that allow the robot to produce any kind and amount of spin in the same drill. This robot can do topspin, side spin, no spin, backspin and any combination in between. Also, the spin isn’t connected to the speed. You can adjust the ball intervals with individual frequency control (IFC) feature. It comes with 21 pre-programmed drills so you can start training as soon as possible, but you can input up to 99 different exercises. It also has a cycle mode that allows you to have breaks and pauses while training with the robot. Another great thing about it is that it’s a ball recycling systems, so you can keep training without needing to pick up balls and refill the robot. 2. Newgy Robo-Pong 2050This robot table tennis machine can throw you balls from different angles, and allows you to play as a defender or offender. The Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 can do topspin, back spin, right side spin, left sidespin and combination spin. It can handle more than 40 balls and has 64 pre-programmed drills to test your limits. It can be programmed to do exactly what you wanted as the programs are customizable. You can save drills into its memory and share it online, or you can also download drills from the community. It features a recycling netting system that can absorb the ball’s energy and prevent it from bouncing back to the table. it’s the perfect ping pong robot for those who are planning to master the sport seriously.3. Paddle Palace H2W Touch ProThis robot has a mechanical appearance, but it’s pretty advanced compared to other ping pong robots out there. Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro is designed to refine your training routine to the finest detail, so it’s not advisable for beginner level players. It comes with a touchscreen remote that allows you to adjust and change around 30 pre-programmed exercises, as well as control the robot on 22 different spots on the table with any spin and any order. Besides the pre-set programs, you can also create around 9 savable programs of your own. It can shoot balls in high and low balls, strong and weak balls, and short and long balls in one sequence. This robot is also a ball recycling system which allows the net to capture the balls and funnel them back to the robot. 4. iPong V300The iPong V300 is useful and practical robot that is the best one among its $200 price range. It can produce both backspin and topspin, and has excellent ball frequency and side to side oscillation. This robot can hold 100 balls at a time, shooting at a frequency of 12 to 70 balls per minute. It has an updated software with consistency and accuracy. It comes with a remote that allows you to adjust ball speed, spin type and oscillation mode. It’s a great robot for beginners who will benefit most from repetition.5. iPong Pro If you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-use ping pong robot, the iPong Pro is for you. This robot allows you to train your ping pong skills with absolute precision and ease. It can do backspin, topspin and side-to-side oscillations. It comes with a wired remote, which allows you to set the frequency of balls thrown and change between different shot options. It operates quietly and with ease. This robot can throw up to 100 balls continuously. However, as the name “Pro” suggests, this is not recommended for beginners, as oscillation is very fast when the ball is thrown. 6. Newgy Robo-Pong 1040This robot is a stripped-down version of the Robo-Pong 2050. Newgy Robo-Pong 1040 has all the simple features one needs when training ping pong. It’s not programmable nor it has a ball recycling net, but it’s easy to use – just take it out of the box, plug in, fill with balls and you’re good to go. It provides topspin, backspin, right sidespin, left sidespin and combination spin. It comes with a bucket extender that makes it capable of holding 200 balls, and an analog control box where you can set oscillation, ball speed and other options. 7. Newgy Robo Pong 540A portable ping pong robot, the Newgy Robo Pong 540 has analog control to adjust ball speed and frequency. It can throw balls at different styles and angles, being able to perform back spin, topspin, left sidespin, right sidespin and combination spin. Its choice or comfort level can be easily adjustable. It’s also easy to use and set-up.