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A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Table tennis Robots - The Ultimate Guide!

Index:

Note: Information in this guide will continue to be added as the table tennis community shares their experiences with others, and allow us to include it in this guide. So if you've used a robot, please share your experience and allow us to add your comments into this guide, so that others can benefit from your experience.

 

 Choosing a table tennis robot:

The robot head

A. Single-wheel vs dual-wheel heads.

The robot head refers to that part that throws out that ball. It generally consist of a tube through which the balls are fed, with one or more motorised rubber wheels (commonly referred to as 'throwing wheels') at the exit that 'throws' out the ball with the required spin and speed.

The single wheel heads have a single rotating wheel that Ďthrowsí the ball out, making contact on only one side of the ball. Dual-wheel heads (as pictured on right) have 2 wheels on either side of the ball, which can spin at different speeds, and therefore can generate a greater variety of spin and speeds of the ball.

Multi-wheel robots have 2 main advantages:

1. Spin and speed can be set independently.
Although this may seem like an absolutely essential feature, in reality itís not quite as straight-forwards. The extent to which to which a robot have truly independent speed from spin varies from one model to another, and is some setting may produce balls which are not really realistic in real play. Still they no-doubt offer more flexibility, so itís worth weighing up the pros and cons, to see if itís worthwhile.

Pros:
You should be able to generate any heavy or light spin for both slow and fast balls. For example you can generate a short very heavy backspin, despite the ball being very slow, something thatís hard to do with a single-wheel robot. Similarly you can generate fast balls with only a moderate amount of spin, which may be common against certain opponents.

Cons:
Although with a single wheel robot you donít have the same flexibily, in reality you can probably generate Ďmostí balls quite closely, and probably close enough for most players. In real play the spin is generally heavier for fast balls compared to slow balls anyway, so the balls from the single wheel robots are not entirely unrealistic.
In addition to this the speed and spin of the 2-wheel robot are not entirely independent anyway, as there is still some interaction between the 2, which is better for some robot than others.
You should also consider the extra complexity of the 2-wheel robot, making it harder to setup and a little more likely to breakdown (the more features the more that can go wrong).

2. They can produce no-spin balls
Pros:
For many people this may not be important, as itís more common that people want to practice handling spin, not no-spin. For some people this may be important, for example long pimple player, who generally have more trouble handling no-spin than spinny balls. For these people this may be a Ďmustí

Cons:
In real life itís rare to get a no-spin ballÖ virtually all balls do have some spin however slow. Spin from a single-wheel robot can be reduced by a significant amount by bouncing the ball off the table or projecting it from a longer distance, which may already produce balls close enough to make them suitable for the exercise.

Are they worth it?
So does this make 2-wheeled robots a waste of money? Not at all. In general the 2-wheel robots definitely have more flexibility than single wheel ones and can generate some balls that single-wheel robot cannot or struggle to do. They do tend to be more expensive and more complex though, so you should weigh up exactly how important these extra features are, and make a decisions on whether itís worth the extra money.

Continue on to Robots - Programmable versus non-programmable

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