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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!


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:

B. Programmable vs non-programmable

Programmable robots allow you to program a robot to produce a particular sequence of balls. This can be a sequence of positions on the table, a sequence of different spin or speed, or a combination of the three. Most robots have an oscillating head, allowing you receive balls on the different positions on the table, but all the balls will be at the same depth and with the same spin. With a programmable robot you can change this, allowing you to program in a sequence that may simulate a real ‘live’ ralley.

1. Do you need it?
A more simple robot with an oscillating head can simulate (to some extent) a ralley against a looper or a chopper, allowing you to practice your footwork and techniques against continuous backspin or topspin balls on different positions of the table (but at the same depth). If you wish to use the robot simply to practice and refine your individual strokes, or use to use it for stamina/strength training, then this is all you need.

If you find you need more than this, and wish to simulate a more complicated sequence, then a programmable robot is required. You may wish to similar a short backspin serve to your forehand, followed by a deep topspin to your backhand for example. Depending on the robot your choose, you can make it much more complicated than that.

You should remember though that it can only simulate a real ralley, and a real ralley will always be a little different in placement, speed and spin. So while it can be good to practice your technique and footwork for a common routine or scenario, it WILL be a little different in a real ralley, and getting identical sequences from a robot may make it harder to adjust to a real ralley. Still there can be great value in practicing a likely scenario, as you train yourself to be ready for a more likely return from your opponent, allowing you to get ready earlier, and play the correct stroke with more preparation and control.

2. Added complexity
The ability to program is no doubt very nice, but keep in mind that these robots do tend to be more complex, meaning they are usually hard to setup and use, and there are also more things that can go wrong with them.

For some being able to practice ‘near’ real live senarios is very important, whereas others are quite happy to refine their strokes with a non-programmable robot, and use real live practice for practicing routines, as they more closely simulate a real match. You’ll need to carefully consider these option, to see if the ability of programming in a sequence, is worth the extra money and complexity of your new robot.

Continue on to Robots - Generating spin

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