The Best Ping Pong Robot to Hone Your Skills
The recently held Tokyo Tech Fair witnessed one of the most interesting ping pong duels in recent times, man vs. robot.
An ‘AI’ powered best ping pong robot in the world named ‘Forpheus’ took on a Japanese Olympian ping pong player and people were glued to the seats as smashes and serves were being tackled at blinding speed.
While robots like this are far too advanced (and expensive) to make it to your living room, there’s a no dearth of choices if you want to bring home a ping pong ball machine. In fact, having a good quality robot is one of the best ways to hone your skills and amplify your practice sessions.
It can help you boost your footwork, improve hand eye co-ordination and throw an entire volley of shots at you that you would otherwise find impossible to receive with solo practice.
However, not all robot ping pong machines are built equal.
Without proper research, you could easily end up with one that is too expensive or one that doesn’t match up to your expectations. That’s where we step in.
We have lined up the best ping pong tables for players with different skill sets and as always, we have options at varying price points.
Our Choice of Ping Pong Robots
As one of the world’s leading ping pong gear brand, Newgy has been stretching the boundaries of technology with their robots. Their lineup boasts of a range of analog as well as digital ping pong robots that rival much higher priced machines with their features and performance.
The Newgy Robo Pong 2040 is one of their best selling ping pong practice machines. This analog table tennis robot is easy to set up, offers good quality speed, spin and throws the balls at you continually without getting clogged.
Set up in seconds
There is nothing more cumbersome than a ping pong machine that takes hours to set up. Not the Newgy Robo Pong 2040. It fits all standard sized tables (even conversion tops). Just slide it on the table, strap on the Velcro on the nets and power it up. You are all set to start practicing.
The 2040 offers an impressive volley of shots. With an adjustable head height, you can set your serves at the precise height for a line drive. In case you need more hands on practice on a looping top spin or smashes with high balls, just adjust the head height.
Players familiar with the Newgy Robo Pong 1040 will vouch for the oscillator technology that allows you to choose from 8 different spots on the table to land the ball on. Club that with the heavy spin that it offers and you will have your task cut out during practice.
- Easy to set up
- Fits all standard sized tables and conversion tops
- Recycling net for collecting returns
- 36-72 ball capacity
- Oscillator technology
- 360 degree rotating spin head
- 8 different types of spin
- 2 second delay at the lowest setting for ball frequency
- Works with both, the older 40mm celluloid ball as well as the new plastic ones.
- Reasonably priced
Possible nits: It cannot produce a float or dead ball. It is not programmable because it does not have an in-built memory function. But unless you are an advanced player, those features are not dealbreakers.
With the average ping pong serving machine priced close to $500, the Hui Pang-07 table tennis robot is a good choice for the casual player looking for a budget priced option. True, it lacks the bells and whistles that one is so used to seeing these days.
But it does not lack any important features that would affect the way you practice. It can generate topspin, sidespin and backspin. You can mix those up too in varying combinations to gain better control. For a home user or a beginner, it’s an affordable, simple ping pong shooting machine.
Lightweight, simple machine
The Hui Pang-07 is a lightweight machine that is easy to set up. It weighs just 3.5 kgs which is lighter than most other robots in the market currently. The only one that weighs close to it is the Butterfly Amicus. It is reasonably easy to set up. When it was initially launched, the instructions were in Chinese. But now, it ships with detailed set up instructions in English.
Select your spin and serve type
Most of the controls of the Hui-Pang 07 are centered around the oscillating head. You can rotate it 180 degrees to adjust the position of the serve, choose from a direct or an indirect serve and select the type of spin. Surprisingly, it can also produce a dead ball, a feature that was lacking in our #1 pick. Adjusting the top spin or under spin is as easy as rotating a knob. With a ball frequency of 70 balls per minute, it ranks right up there with much higher priced practice machines.
- Lightweight, easy set up
- 9 different types of spin
- 70 balls per minute frequency
- Oscillating head
- Works with standard 40mm balls
It lacks a collection and recycle net. You may have to invest in one lest you wish to spend an entire afternoon collecting balls.
At first glance, the Newgy Robo-Pong 1040+ looks like a replica of the Newgy 2040 sans the net. And it’s pretty much the same machine minus a few cosmetic additions.
If you were looking for a mid-level entrant from Newgy that costs about $200 less than the #1 pick, here you have it.
Easy analog controls
The Newgy Robo Pong is a no-fuss machine that can be set up in seconds. It has an analog control panel that allows you to select spin, speed and oscillate the head from side to side to position your ball perfectly. It has a top speed of 75mph and can shoot 90 balls per minute. It has a ball capacity of 200 balls. Be rest assured that you are not going to run out of balls to tackle. Being a lightweight unit, it can easily be installed and dismantled. For students or club users, that’s always a valuable add-on.
Impressive spin and shot options
The Robo Pong 1040 offers sidespin, topspin, backspin and combination spin at your fingertips. You can select from serve, pushes, chops, lobs to fast looping shots. That’s a vast array of practice options that can suit both beginners and intermediate players. The earlier iteration of the Newgy Robo Pong 1040 was not compatible with the newer 40+ balls. Newgy has made some changes in the newer version and it is compatible with the new balls as well.
- Easy set up
- Analog controls
- 75 mph top speed
- 90 balls per minute frequency
- 200 ball capacity
- Sidespin, topspin, backspin and combination spin
- Compatible with 40+ balls
There have been instances where the Robo Pong 1040 jams up, especially with older or cheaper balls. This makes it a tad difficult to use continually. If you intend to use it for long practice sessions, then that is a factor that you might want to consider while deciding on which newgy ping pong robot to buy.
The iPong V300 is one of our personal favorites in the market. This smartly designed ping pong training machine features three inter-locking pieces that snap together to form a compact and lightweight unit.
For players looking for a travel-friendly design, this one fits the bill perfectly.
To top it off, it is a well-rounded package at a very pocket-friendly price tag.
Digital Display and wireless remote
The iPong V300 features a flared design in bright and attractive colors. There are no large analog controls to bother with. Instead, there’s a compact wireless remote that allows you to alter the settings or change ball type from your side of the table once it is set up. There’s a digital LCD display on the front panel that allows you to view and select the right setting. It displays ball frequency, oscillation and top and bottom wheel speeds. The remote also features an in-built memory button that allows you to store a setting that you need to access repeatedly.
From box to play in minutes
Among all the table tennis robots that we have reviewed, the V300 was the easiest to set up. Just connect the three separate pieces, load the balls and you are set. It should not take more than three minutes to begin playing. The V300 has a dual wheel head which allows you to create sidespin, backspin as well as topspin. It has a reasonable capacity of 100 balls and can shoot 70 balls per minute which more than suffices for beginners and medium-skilled players. The package also includes a tilt stand that allows you to alter the trajectory of the ball. For example, for players wanting to perfect the push or the loop, the V300 can create excellent backspin when tilted at the right angle.
- Simple but effective design
- Excellent backspin
- Wireless remote
- Digital display
- Three part design for portability
- 100 ball capacity
- 40-70 balls per minute frequency
- Tilt stand to alter the trajectory
There used to be a common complaint about the ball jamming up in the machine. But that problem has been addressed with the new software update. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t find any nits to pick with the iPong v300.
Last but not the least, we have the Butterfly Amicus Professional Robot. If there was ever a flawlessly designed ping pong robot, this is it. It has largely remained unchanged over the years. But hey, why fix something that’s already perfect?
This is a professional-grade ping pong ball machine and hands down, the best ping pong robot in this list. If you are a beginner looking for a machine that can adapt to your advancing skills in the game, this is it.
Three wheel head for unparalleled variations
The Amicus professional has a three roller wheel head which allows it to produce side spin in addition to topspin, backspin and dead balls. For advanced players, there’s the mega spin mode which creates extreme spinning balls. At the same time, the spin is very realistic. It’s like playing against a highly skilled opponent which is precisely how a robot must function. For altering the trajectory of the ball, the height of the head can be adjusted to four different levels. The Amicus Professional has a top speed ball frequency of 100 balls per minute.
Ample pre-exercises and memory options
All of the controls are accessible via the console that ships with the unit. If this is the first time you are using the Amicus, it will take some practice to get a hang of the control functions. However, it is not too difficult and there are tons of support options. The Butterfly Amicus Professional features 21 pre-saved exercises, of which, 10 can be played in a sequence. Butterfly calls this the cluster mode and it can be really beneficial for beginners as well as advanced players. If the frequency of the balls in the exercises seems too high, you can activate the ‘Cycle’ functionality which creates scheduled pauses in between the exercises.
- Professional ping pong robot with a net for automatic recycling
- Completely programmable
- Three-wheel head for topspin, backspin, side spin and dead balls
- Mega spin mode
- Alterable trajectory up to four levels
- Top speed of 100 balls per minute
- Large console for accessing the functions
- 21 pre-saved exercises
- 10 exercises to be played in a sequence called ‘Cluster mode’
- Can store up to 99 balls
Buying the best ping pong robot
There’s nothing like a bad ping pong robot. There are only ones that are right for you and ones that are not. To be able to pick the best one, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions, the answers to which will help you narrow down on the best option.
What is your skill level?
Are you a beginner looking to pick up the basics of the game? Are you an intermediate level player playing in small tournaments and club level games? Or are you an advanced player? This is the most important factor to consider while selecting the best ping pong table. Advanced players can opt for the Butterfly Amicus. There is no better choice. While beginners or home users can do well with our #1 pick, the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 or our #4 pick, the iPong v300.
What features are you looking for?
From barebones models like the Hui-Pang 07 to feature rich ones like the Amicus, we have listed them all. If you are a beginner, then stick to a machine that you can adjust to and use easily. Leave the feature-crammed ones for the experts. As a rule of thumb, any ping pong ball machine that creates topspin, backspin and sidespin and has a reasonably good ball capacity and frequency is good for beginner practice.
Ping Pong robots can vary greatly in their price. There are robots that can cost you as less as $100 and there are others that can make you poorer by a couple of thousand dollars. Consider the features and your skill levels before selecting the one that fits into your budget.
That’s it folks. We hope that you are able to select the best ping pong robot for yourself. If you wish to add your personal favorite robot to this list or you have any feedback/suggestion to make, then feel free to reach out to us.