Best Ping Pong Robots (Reviews & Buyer's Guide 2019) | PPB

Best Ping Pong Robots (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2019)

ping pong robots review

Expert: Kevin James, Last Updated: 20/07/2019

Choosing a ping pong robot isn't just about finding the one with best features. You'll need a robot that matches your requirements and more importantly - budget. The last thing you want to have a robot that makes things too easy for you, or one that makes returning impossible.

But don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this in-depth guide, we'll discuss what factors to look for while choosing a ping pong robot including the features, quality and price.

To make things clear, these robots are also commonly referred to as table tennis robots, ping pong ball machine, ball launcher etc but they all mean the same.

Let's start:

Frankly, when it comes to ping pong robots, there are limited options to choose from. There are only a couple of manufacturers who deal with such machines. The good thing is, I've personally tried almost all of them (if not all). 

In the next section, I've reviewed the best ping pong robots currently available and categorized them based on player experience level.

Let's start:

Ping Pong Robots - Reviews & Ratings


Beginner/Recreational


1. iPong Original

{Simple yet practical}

Suitable for: Beginners, Amateurs


ipong original table tennis robot

Product Specification:

  • Two motor head
  • Can produce either top spin, back spin or no spin at a time. No random spin option
  • Compatible with 40mm balls
  • Ball tray holding capacity 110
  • Ball casting frequency - 20 to 70 balls per minute
  • Wired remote control
  • A/C supply powered

Pros
+ Excellent starter robot to practice and get your strokes right
+ Produces top spin, back spin and no spin ball
+ Ball speed can be adjusted along with the spin. The setting is limited to either fast speed and high spin or low speed and low spin.
+ Quite consistent with ball placement; however time to time there is a slight variation
+ The robot, if placed creatively, can help you practice different types of strokes.

Cons
- Ball jamming and multi-ball release. The new firmware update has more or less resolved the issue.
- No side spin

iPong Original Review

Manufactured by one of the leading table tennis equipment brand Joola, this is an excellent starter robot for beginner players who are looking to hone their skills. This lightweight robot is simple to operate and setup. Place the robot on one side of the table, feed in the 40mm balls on the top tray, power on the supply, and you are all set.

It comes with a wired remote to set the spin and speed setting. The robot can throw up to 70 balls per minute and can produce only one spin (either top or under) at a time. To produce no-spin ball, set the topspin equal to the underspin. However, on the downside, the robot lacks random spin and random placement option.

You can place the bot at various locations to practice different aspects of the game. For example, placing the robot at the corner of the table, you can practice forehand/backhand returns. Place the robot at a downward angle, and you can practice returning serves.

The Ipong Original is an excellent robot for kids, beginners or anyone who is starting with the sport. You can work on your forehand/backhand strokes, counter-spin, chops and looping. Additionally, due to the simple yet practical design, this robot would surely give you a trouble-free ownership experience.

Yes, occasionally you may face ball jamming or multi-ball release, but that's mainly due to the unclean and distorted balls.

To summarize: iPong Original is an excellent robot for beginners/improvers, and the price point is irresistible.

2. iPong V300

{A step up from iPong Original, comes with oscillation feature}

Suitable for: Beginners, Improvers


iPong V300 Table Tennis Robot

Product Specification:

  • Two motor wheel design
  • Can produce one spin at a time, either topspin, side spin or no spin
  • Adjustable oscillation option to set ball placement 
  • Works best with 40mm balls
  • Ball tray holding capacity 100
  • Ball casting frequency - 20 to 70 balls per minute
  • Wireless remote control
  • A/C supply powered

Pros
A step up from iPong Original. Additionally comes with:
+ Adjustable oscillation option
+ Better design and build quality compared to iPong Original
+ Improved wheel and motor design
+ Wireless remote to control - spin, speed and oscillation

Cons
- Occasional ball jamming and multi-ball release. Usually happens due to too many balls fed or irregular sized balls.
- No side spin

iPong V300 Review

A step up from its predecessor iPong Original, the iPong V300 comes with a more powerful motor, oscillation feature and upgraded hardware design. Also, the recent firmware upgrade has resolved the issue of occasional ball jamming and improved ball accuracy.

Additionally, the iPong V300 offers side to side oscillation, memory feature to save settings and a wireless remote. With improved wheel design and powerful motors, the ball shoots out with higher speed and spin. However, in the lower speed setting, I found the ball trajectory was a bit off, but that's the case with any beginner robot.

iPong V300 is $50 costlier than the iPong Original. But the extra functions like random oscillation, memory setting and wireless remote justifies the increase in price.

To summarize, iPong v300 is my top pick in the beginner's category.

Check out detailed coverage of this particular model here.

Intermediate Robots


1. HP-07 Robot

{Value for money, realistic ball trajectory, cutomizable}

Suitable for: Beginners, Intermediate, improvers


hp 07 table tennis robot

Product Specification:

  • Two motor head
  • Adjustable speed, spin and direction
  • 7 different ball throw angle
  • 36 variety of spin
  • Can imitate serves and returns
  • Ball tray holding capacity 100
  • Ball casting frequency - 40 to 70 balls per minute
  • Wired remote control
  • A/C supply powered

Pros
+ Can produce 36 variety of spin and 7 different ball throw angle with varying degree of oscillation (ball placement)
+ Adjustable speed, spin and direction
+ Powerful motor produces realistic spin and speed
+ Good construction quality 

Cons
- To produce sidespin, you need to rotate the head manually.
- Remote and instructions are in Chinese. But the product is self-explanatory, and a couple of YouTube videos are available to set up the robot.

HP-07 Ping Pong Robot Review

The original manufacturer of this robot is Huipang, which is a reputed Chinese manufacturer. However, in the US, the same robot is sold under different brands like - Popsport, Promoter, Yaetek, Gdae10 etc.

HP-07 is a battle-tested robot.

No kidding! It is one of the top-selling robots in China. And if you don't know, Chinese people take there ping pong game very seriously!

This robot is ideal for players looking to train and improve their game seriously. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate player, this robot will serve you well. The robot can produce 36 variety of spin. Broadly it is a combination of topspin, underspin, right/left spin and no spin.

The head of the robot can be tilted up and down in seven different angles to produce a varying degree of bounce. Especially useful for practicing serve returns. The oscillation function can place the ball at 8 different locations (corner, 2/3rd or 3/4th distance from corner and middle). And using the wired remote you can adjust the speed, spin and ball placement.

To summarize, HP-07 is a solid intermediate level robot. With its exhaustive list of features, above par build quality, and reasonable price point makes it our top budget pick in the intermediate category.

We've done an in-depth review of this model. Check it out here.

2. JT-A Robot

{Comes with Auto ball feeding}

Suitable for: Beginners, Intermediate, improvers


JT-A Ping Pong Robot

Product Specification:

  • Two motor head
  • Ball frequency - 30 to 100 balls/min
  • Ball speed - 4m to 40m/sec
  • Ball capacity - 200+
  • Spin - 42 types (Combination of Top, Side, Back, Left, Right, No)
  • Oscillation - 8 locations
  • Landing: Random
  • Comes with recycle net
  • Auto collect and returns balls
  • Wired remote control
  • A/C supply powered
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros
A step up from HP-07, comes with:
+ Recycling net and auto ball feed
+ adjustable ball placement
+ superior build quality
+ better ball feeding mechanism 

Cons
- Mostly sold out or unavailable
- Bulky and takes extra time to setup

JT-A Robot Review

The original manufacturer of this robot is again Huipang but its sold in the US under brands like GDAE10, Nopteg etc. This robot packs in a lot of firepower for its size and competes with some of the top robots from well-known brands. But, as the parent company, Huipang does not actively market the product, and this has led to poor visibility of such a wonderful robot.

The biggest USP of the product is the recycling net and auto ball feeding mechanism. This means uninterrupted practice without needing to pick the balls manually. The recycling net in itself costs ~$70, if purchased separately.

The second differentiator is customizations. The robot can produce 42 variety of spin (requires manual head adjustment) including the no-spin ball and seven degrees of ball bounce. The robot can emulate human-like stroke play, and the ball follows a realistic trajectory. The point of fall of the ball can also be randomized, which makes the practice even more challenging and non-monotonous.

On the negative side, the manual and the remote is in Chinese. But the manufacturer provides links to the Youtube videos for the initial setup.

Overall, JT-A ping pong robot can definitely help you practice all-round gameplay and improve your game. Priced at around ~$400 (at the time of writing this post), this product offers excellent value both features and price-wise.

Expert Robots


1. Newgy Robo-Pong 2055

{Value for money, Advance Level}

Suitable for: Intermediate, Advance


Robo Pong 2055 Table Tennis Robot

Product Specification:

  • Two wheel head
  • Ball frequency - 01 to 170 balls/min
  • Ball speed - 5m to 60 m/sec
  • Ball capacity - 120+
  • Spin: Topspin, backspin, left sidespin, right sidespin, combination spins
  • Oscillation Position - 21
  • Random ball placement and spin
  • Auto collect and returns balls
  • Wireless remote control
  • A/C supply powered
  • Warranty: 5 years

Pros
+ 64 pre-programmed drills for various skill level
+ Ability to design custom drills
+ Adjustable speed, spin and placement
+ Random ball placement/spin
+ Auto ball feed with high-quality recycling net
+ Designed and manufactured in the USA

Cons
- The carrying bag needs to be purchased separately

Newgy Robo-Pong 2055 Review

First, in our list of professional robots is the - Newgy Robo-Pong 2055. This robot is manufactured by the Newgy Industries which has been in the business of manufacturing table tennis robots from the last 31 years. As the company only deals in table tennis robots, you can count on the quality and reliability of the product.

The robot comes with a recycling net and auto ball feeder for uninterrupted play. The whole process of setting up the robot takes less than 10 mins, which includes setting up the robot, installing the catch net, frame and feeding the balls. Once set up, everything else can be controlled using the digital remote.

By default, the robot comes with 64 pre-programmed drills. I found the default drills well designed and practical. You also have the option to design and store upto 99 custom drills. The drills can be programmed using the digital control box or using the PC.

The robot head can be manually adjusted to produce different types of spin. While the parameters like speed, spin and placement can be adjusted to exact precision using the supplied remote. In random mode, the ball is shot at random locations with varying speed and spin, which is quite an effective way to practice.

The lag between each ball throw is similar to the one you see in real gameplay. Similarly, the oscillation is swift, fast and accurate. This where the major difference between professional and intermediate robots lies. Intermediate robots struggle with accuracy and lag between each shot is higher.

The Robo-Pong 2055 comes exhaustive training material and setup guide. You get a training DVD, starter manual and instruction support manual.

While making such a costly purchase, you need to also account for the continued support from the manufacturer. In this department, Newgy stands out. The product comes with a five-year warranty, and spare parts are readily available. Moreover, the product firmware is regularly updated, which is a plus.

Overall, Robo-Pong 2055 is a feature-rich robot suited for intermediate to advanced players. With the robust build quality, continuous support and wide array of features, I feel confident to recommend this product.

2. Butterfly Amicus Expert

{The very best table tennis robot, you can lay your hands on}

Suitable for: Intermediate, Advance


butterfly amicus expert table tennis robot

Product Specification:

  • Three wheel head
  • Ball frequency - 30 to 120 balls/min
  • Ball speed - 10m to 60m/sec
  • Ball capacity - 120+
  • Spin - All varieties
  • Oscillation - All possible locations
  • 20 pre-programmed drills designed by Coach Richard Prause
  • Ability to store 99 custom drills
  • Each drill can have upto 7 shots
  • Ball Placement/Speed/Spin: Random
  • Auto collect and returns balls
  • Wired remote control
  • A/C supply powered
  • Warranty: 4 years

Pros
+ Precise control over speed, spin and trajectory
+ Can produce sidespin (no other bot can do that automatically)
+ Pre-programmed drills are very well thought of and would surely keep you on your feets
+ The three-wheel drive produces realistic shots to imitate real match like situations
+ State of the art ball feeding mechanism
+ Patent pending deflector plate system is quick and accurately places the ball.

Cons
- Not exactly a con, but as the head does not move, you cannot clearly see in which direction the ball is going to come.

Butterfly Amicus Expert Review

Amicus series is the flagship lineup of the Butterfly brand. These state of the art table tennis robots are designed to provide competitive training experience to professional players.

Unlike other robots, Butterfly Amicus uses a deflector plate system for ball placement. This mechanism is faster and more efficient than the full rotating head system. The other major differentiator is the use of three wheels compared to two wheels. The third-wheel allows the robot to impart sidespin, slow-spin and no spin on the ball.

The height of the robot head is adjustable to four different levels, which allows changing the ball release height. Also, the robot can imitate match like situations which each ball following a realistic trajectory.

Each of the ball parameters (spin, speed and placement) are controllable with a high degree of accuracy. It comes with 20 professional pre-programmed drills which are designed by Butterfly Coach Richard Prause. You can also program and store up to 99 different drills, each with a maximum of seven ball sequence. The automatic frequency control dynamically adjusts the time of the next ball throw based on the previous throw. If the robot is shooting slow balls, then the time interval between the next ball throw would be more.

The robot comes with a wired control box which shows real-time information such as speed, spin, location etc. It can also be used to adjust the ball parameters on the fly. Additionally, a wireless RF remote is provided to start/stop/pause the drill. In random mode, the robot randomly varies the speed, spin and location. Additionally, the scatter functionality varies the ball placement by +- 20 cm.

There are three variants in the Amicus range- Start, Expert and Prime. I feel Butterfly Amicus Expert is the best product in the lineup combining top features of both the low and high-end variant.

If you're looking for a professional table tennis robot, look no further than the Butterfly Amicus Expert.

 Oukei TW-2700-S9

{Independently controllable dual head offers competitive training experience}

Suitable for: Intermediate, Advance


Oukei TW 2700 S9

Product Specification:

  • Dual head two-wheel system
  • Ball frequency - 30 to 100 balls/min
  • Ball speed - 5 to 50 m/sec
  • Spin - Top/Back/Side/No
  • Oscillation - 18 landing points
  • Ability to store 99 custom drills
  • Ball Placement/Speed/Spin: Random
  • Auto collect and returns balls
  • Wired remote control
  • A/C supply powered
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros
+ Dual head, lets you practice both top and back spin returns at the same time
+ Great for competitive training
+ Intelligent pre-programmed random mode

Cons
- For sidespin, the head needs to be manually adjusted

Oukei TW-2700-S9 Review

This is another well-designed robot made by the reputable Chinese company Oukei. Although the machine does not offer automatic sidespin due to two-wheel design, but the dual heads can be rotated to a varying degree to produce the desired level of sidespin.

The Oukei can be an excellent training partner for you. Its dual head two-wheel design can throw top and backspin at the same time with a realistic time gap. Thus letting you practice for real match like situations. The robot can throw the ball at 18 locations, produce nine variety of spin and comes with six serving modes. We also liked the intelligent random mode, which can randomly shoot different balls at you.

Oukei TW-2700-S9 is a well-built, sturdy table tennis robot with most of the parts made out of metal. Additionally, the dual  head and competitive training features, justify the price tag of $1499. We recommend the product!

Benefits of Using a Table Tennis Robot

Here are the top 6 benefits of using a robot:

1) A fun-filled cardio workout - The robot keeps you on your feet, throwing random balls at different locations with varying speed, spin and time delay. You need to move quickly to hit the ball and adapt to the different degrees of spin. Practicing as much as 20 mins on the robot can help you shed up to 200 calories and sets your heart beating at up to 150 beats/mins. A great way to be fit and at the same time, improve your game.

2) Suits players of all skill level - Whether you're a pro, just starting with table tennis, or somewhere in the middle, the table tennis robot makes a great choice. The robot can be programmed to suit the training needs of all type of players.

3) Builds Consistency and Accuracy - The robot can tirelessly feed the balls at you with the same speed, spin and location, helping you practice same shot over and over again. Practice by repetition helps in building consistency and accuracy in your stroke.

4) Your 24x7 Training Partner - The best part of owning a robot is that you can practice whenever you want, and the machine never gets tired. It can feed balls at you for as long as you want.

5) Programmable - We all have weaknesses. Maybe you're unable to put sufficient power in your topspins, or you find it challenging to return super spinny serves? Not anymore! You can program the robot to throw specific balls at you, helping you improve your weak areas.

6) Improves your reaction time, footwork and strokes - Overtime practicing with a robot, results in a faster reflex action, improvement in your footwork and more power/consistency in your strokes.

There is no denying that these robots can help you in improving your game, but it's important to remember not to overdo it. Depending totally on the robot for your training needs may not the great idea and its best to mix coaching sessions or training with a partner from time to time.

This helps in monitoring your progress, and a coach can give feedback on how to improve your technique and posture.

Ping Pong Robot: Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Let’s break down exactly what each type of player should be looking for in a ping pong robot, and what they can expect from their purchase. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert ping pong player, rest assured there is a specific robot out there for you.

It’s all about matching your needs up to the machine.

Beginners


Who- Let’s start with beginners, and this term can range from anyone just taking up the sport in a serious capacity, to families looking to have a bit of fun downtime.

Price- For a beginner ping pong robot, you can expect to pay anywhere in the range of $80 to $150, but as long as you’re sure you will get good use out of it, that isn’t too bad an investment.

Positives- These robots are great for beginners of all kind as they are simple to set up and to use. The simpler the machine, the smaller it often is too, so you’ll find it far easier to pack away and store compared to a more expert piece of kit. The robot will help you work on your return game, both forehand and backhand, as well as the consistency of your shots, and the style of your play.

Negatives- The cheaper machines available in the market are limited in what they can do. Once you get past that beginner stage, there is a brick wall that these robots can’t go beyond. They have a limited ball holding capacity, can often be inconsistent with their ball throw and accuracy, are not custom programmable, and can only produce one spin at a time.

Basic features- They can change ball frequency, speed, and spin (top and back only).

Recommendations- Ipong Original and Ipong V300

Intermediates


Who- These machines are for players looking to take their game to the next level. You have been playing the sport for a while now, have mastered the basics and have your own playing style and now want to hone these skills, as well as improving your overall game.

Price- For these intermediate machines, you can expect it to cost between $200 and $500. This may seem like a lot, but for the intermediate player looking to become an expert and play serious tournament table tennis, you know you’ll get your money’s worth in practice hours.

Positives- Intermediate robots are often programmed with set training drills to really test your game. They also feature ball collection and recycling features for longer sessions of uninterrupted practice.

Negatives- These are often a bit larger than the beginner machines and can be harder to transport and store. They can produce either top spin, back and no spin. But for side-spin, manual adjustment of the head is required. The ball placement, spin and speed is very accurate on these robots.

Basic features- These more advanced machines can change ball frequency, offer higher speeds, different types of spins - side, top, and back, as well as random placement to keep you on your toes.

Recommendations- Huipang Hp-07 and Huipang JT-A

Professional


Who- These top of the range robots are designed for the most serious of players. We are talking about advanced athletes looking to make a real name for themselves on the table tennis scene. You shouldn’t really be shelling out for one of these if you’re just a casual player.

Price- With all their added features, the top of the range machines can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500. This is a figure that many will rub their eyes at, but if you’re a professional, or a player looking to go pro, you will get hundreds and thousands of hours of use out of this kit.

Positives- These machines come with advanced pre-programmed training drills set to challenge even the top players. These programmes can be customized to challenge yourself, test your weak points, or even mimic the style of an upcoming opponent. They produce all types of spin imaginable, and work with pinpoint accuracy.

Negatives- Obviously they are far more expensive than some more beginner pieces of kit. They are also harder to set up, transport, and store.

Basic features- Can change ball frequency, speed, and placement, as well as spin.

Recommendations- Butterfly Start Amicus Expert and Newgy Robo-Pong 2055

What To Look For while Purchasing a Ping Pong Robot


When looking for a ping pong robot, you should always delve into the specs in order to find the one exactly suited to your game. You don’t want to end up with something that won’t challenge you at all, and you also don’t want to overpay for a piece of kit with the features you’ll never use.

Features to look for:

Variation that the machine can produce:

  • Spin- There are three types of spin - top, back and side. Beginners robots can generally produce only top and backspin which are not that strong as well. By strong I mean there is not enough spin in the balls due to the low power of the motor used. In the higher model, multiple motors are used to impart the spin. Side spins are generally available in intermediate to advanced systems.
  • Speed- The speed at which the ball is pushed out to the player. Beginners bots cannot throw the ball at great speed.
  • Oscillation (Random Placement)- The bot can throw the ball at the pre-programmed position or random location with varying amount of spin and speed.
  • Random spin- The beginner bots can throw only with one type of spin at a time. It cannot throw one topspin and the next ball backspin. While intermediate to advance bots can throw the ball with random spin.
  • Frequency- Means the number of balls the robot can throw at you per minute.
  • Ball Holding Capacity- Most of the beginner and mid-range have a holding capacity of 100. Advanced bots can hold up to 200 balls at a time.
  • Ball Recycling/Net Collection System- Ball recycling system is basically a net system which funnels the returned ball back into the robot. This means you can continue playing without stopping.

Some of the intermediate and all the advanced bots have this system:

  • Programmable Drills- Beginners robot do not have any programmable drills. Intermediate robots come with pre-programmed drills and some even let you program. Advanced bots come with competitive pre-programmed drills. And can also be programmed.
  • Power Supply- All the intermediate and advanced system require an AC point (110v or 200v) to work. Some of the beginner bots are battery powered.
  • Portability- Beginners bots are very portable and mobile. While the intermediate machines are still portable and the advanced bots require quite a bit of time to set up.
To Wrap it Up

When weighing up your ping pong robot choice, you need to decide which features are essential for you and based on that, make a call. Often you may have to compromise, as you’re unlikely to find something that includes every single thing you’re looking for, all at the price you’re willing to pay.

As long as you put the time into research, you shouldn’t be disappointed, as these machines really are great for improving your game, as well as just being great fun to use.

Help Us Improve

While writing the review, we analyzed the top ping pong robots in the market. But we may have missed some. If you would like to suggest a robot which you've personally tried and tested, we're all ears.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Kevin James
 

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