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PostPosted: 21 Jul 2015, 04:35 
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I am trying to decide between a more traditional 2 head robot like Y&T S-27 (1 head for underspin, 1 head for topspin, 4 wheels total) vs. an Amicus (1 head, 3 wheels).

It would seem that having dedicated heads for top/under-spin is an advantage. On the other hand maybe Amicus somehow achieves the same or better (?) results using 3 wheels (how?). Also, Y&T is 1) bigger, 2) cheaper (compared to the "Professional" incarnation of Amicus).

Any advice? personal experience one can share?

Thanks a lot!


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PostPosted: 22 Jul 2015, 04:29 
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The whole idea of multiple wheels, as I understand it, is spin production. I with only one wheel, you can only produce a ball spinning in one direction and the speed and the spin are tied together (more spin, more speed, less spin, less speed).

With two wheels, independence of spin from speed begins. So you can get good spin with slow speed etc. You can also get no-spin balls. I believe the differential between the speeds of the wheels creates a combination of speed and spin with the spin being greater the difference in speed between the wheels and a faster upper wheel is topspin and a faster lower wheel is backspin.

When you have three wheels, you can have topspin, backspin, and sidespin and no spin all from one point. The main advantage of the Amicus Pro over other robots is that it has complex programming that allows you to simulate fairly realistic drills. The robot can serve short, then push long or serve short, push relatively short then long if you can get the right speed and trajectory. And there can be sidespin built into shots. There are also random elements that allow for making the short placements more similar to that created by human inaccuracy.

If you are a fairly advanced player (over USATT 1800), I don't think any robot other than the Amicus Advanced/Pro will do you full justice unless your sole priority is ball contacts. The Smart Pongs and some of the Oukei/PAddle Palace/Y&T machines are good too are good too, but they don't have no-spin capabilities, or they can't do random elements, or they cannot serve and rally in one drill. Below that (1000-1800), all the other advanced robots are reasonable options and some may even be better depending on your specific situation.

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PostPosted: 22 Jul 2015, 07:08 
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NextLevel wrote:
The whole idea of multiple wheels, as I understand it, is spin production. I with only one wheel, you can only produce a ball spinning in one direction and the speed and the spin are tied together (more spin, more speed, less spin, less speed).

With two wheels, independence of spin from speed begins. So you can get good spin with slow speed etc. You can also get no-spin balls. I believe the differential between the speeds of the wheels creates a combination of speed and spin with the spin being greater the difference in speed between the wheels and a faster upper wheel is topspin and a faster lower wheel is backspin.

When you have three wheels, you can have topspin, backspin, and sidespin and no spin all from one point. The main advantage of the Amicus Pro over other robots is that it has complex programming that allows you to simulate fairly realistic drills. The robot can serve short, then push long or serve short, push relatively short then long if you can get the right speed and trajectory. And there can be sidespin built into shots. There are also random elements that allow for making the short placements more similar to that created by human inaccuracy.

If you are a fairly advanced player (over USATT 1800), I don't think any robot other than the Amicus Advanced/Pro will do you full justice unless your sole priority is ball contacts. The Smart Pongs and some of the Oukei/PAddle Palace/Y&T machines are good too are good too, but they don't have no-spin capabilities, or they can't do random elements, or they cannot serve and rally in one drill. Below that (1000-1800), all the other advanced robots are reasonable options and some may even be better depending on your specific situation.


Thanks a lot for your comment! I still do not quite understand the following: as you say for topspin you need the upper wheel spin faster than the bottom one. For the underspin it works the other way around.

Imagine now the point starts with an underspin serve (as it usually does), then the next ball from your opponent is often a topspin. In the "robot terms" this means that for the shot #1 the speed of the bottom wheel should be much higher than the speed of the top wheel and then a second or less later, the top wheel needs to be much faster and the bottom much slower (for topspin production)!

With 2 head robots, the individual heads handle this by keeping the top wheel spin faster than the bottom one in head #1 and slower in head #2...

--> How can Amicus (with 1 head) achieve the same result? Can it speed up/slow down the wheels in time for the next shot (less than a second if playing > 60 balls/minute)????


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PostPosted: 22 Jul 2015, 08:49 
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I am not a robot designer but I am speaking based on my understanding.

A head has wheels. The three wheels of the amicus as well as the ability of the amicus to rotate the head and your ability to raise or reduce the height of the head allow it to generate a diverse amount of spins in one sequence to many points on the table.

If you only have two wheels, you can generate only topspin or backspin or no spin in one axes. To get sidespin, the head must be rotated. So yes, the robot produces topspin by having a faster wheel on top and a slower wheel at the bottom but the speed of the ball will be determined by the relative speed of the wheels and the spin by the difference in speed between the wheels.

Two heads means two places that shoot balls. It is the wheels per head that determine the spin variation ability.

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PostPosted: 22 Jul 2015, 09:17 
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NextLevel wrote:
I am not a robot designer but I am speaking based on my understanding.

A head has wheels. The three wheels of the amicus as well as the ability of the amicus to rotate the head and your ability to raise or reduce the height of the head allow it to generate a diverse amount of spins in one sequence to many points on the table.

If you only have two wheels, you can generate only topspin or backspin or no spin in one axes. To get sidespin, the head must be rotated. So yes, the robot produces topspin by having a faster wheel on top and a slower wheel at the bottom but the speed of the ball will be determined by the relative speed of the wheels and the spin by the difference in speed between the wheels.

Two heads means two places that shoot balls. It is the wheels per head that determine the spin variation ability.


I'm guessing it does apply a brake of some kind and accelerate the wheels all the time. It can be kind of seen on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz0ygibnGkQ video (even though not perfectly). This is Power Pong 3000 which is the same as Amicus.


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PostPosted: 23 Sep 2015, 04:44 
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The amicus works diferently from every othe robot I have seen, like the previous post said other robots move their heads, left or right for side to side placement, up and down for tracjectory, and rotate for spin, especialy the single wheel one which rotate 180 deg to change from topspin to backspin.

The amicus head does not move at all, apart from the manual height adjustment, it alway faces dead centre and at the same height angle, it has a motorised shute that directs the ball left, right, up and down after the ball has gone through the wheels, the 3 wheels speed up and slow down separatly to control the speed and spin.

It plays differntly to the single wheel robot Ive used before, and because only the shute moves random drills are very dificult especially spin changes where you cant see the head rotate


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PostPosted: 14 Feb 2016, 18:28 
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Having read lots of threads on many different forums about the Amicus Professional, it apears that a number of people have had machines that have gone wrong, the pre-set programmes sending balls off the end of the table, ball jamming, and other general reliability issues. A friend of mine had a Amicus Basic, and after six months, it had to go back to the factory to be serviced. These sort of factors are putting me off buying the amicus, and making me think that maybe the two head Y&T S-27 machines with two heads are more reliable ? Alright, they do not quite have all the fancy stuff the amicus has, but they are still a very good and reliable machine.

Another thing that concerns me with the Amicus is that with the head not `moving`, how can you see what type of ball it is giving you, unless you remember the sequence order of balls programmed into the drill ? With the two head models you have to watch to see which head is sending the ball (the same as you watch an opponent in a game) so you know if it topspin or backspin, and can adjust your shot respectively.

Any thoughts/advice welcome, particularly on reliability of the Amicus ?


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PostPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 05:06 
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With Amicus it's kind of possible to see the inner mechanism turn left or right depending on the upcoming ball direction, but yeah, it's way less obvious than with a partner or with a machine that turns the entire head. So it's a serious drawback and may contribute to the habit of NOT WATCHING YOUR OPPONENT.

I've not had any reliability problems after half a year, but true -- the pre-programmed sequences on Professional are basically useless for me.


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PostPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 05:26 
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Thanks for the reply. How difficult is it to programme your own drills on the Amicus ? I have heard different and conflicting comments about this ?


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PostPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 06:19 
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Slightly conflictimg impressions here. I had to return mine for a replacement head, but it's quite easy to watxh the chute for direction.

Programming drills is easy. The instruction booklet is not that useful, but the owner's thread here and some experimentation are all you need. Once you understand the controls it's super easy to make and save a new drill.


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PostPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 06:47 
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RogerH wrote:
Thanks for the reply. How difficult is it to programme your own drills on the Amicus ? I have heard different and conflicting comments about this ?


Programming is quite easy, but as some have said, the user manual isn't written by people who wanted to help you. Some trial and error goes a long way here.

Having said this, I could never make some (most?) of the pre-set programs coming with Amicus Pro land consistently on the table. But it's true that once you've learned how to design yours, they do not matter and have very little (if any) value (IMHO of course).


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PostPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 08:40 
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Thanks for the help. Is there anyone in the UK who has the Amicus Pro who would be willing to let me have a look at it. I live in Essex but would be willing to travel. I would ideally like to have a look at one in use before I buy one.
Regards Roger


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