OOAK Table Tennis Forum

Robot on Kickstarter - trainerbot
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Author:  iskandar taib [ 01 Jun 2016, 01:44 ]
Post subject:  Robot on Kickstarter - trainerbot

I was sent this link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... pong-robot

They're looking for backers. In the $330 range if you want to get one.


Author:  haggisv [ 01 Jun 2016, 10:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Looks quite promising to me :up: From proto-type to production is quite a big step though, they may encounter issues they've not foreseen.

Author:  iskandar taib [ 01 Jun 2016, 19:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Worth a $330 bet? :lol:

Main drawbacks I see is that there's no net and ball return, and the chute only holds 30 balls. But otherwise it seems to be programmable and you can do Amicus-like things with it.


Author:  RebornTTEvnglist [ 01 Jun 2016, 21:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

That actually looks pretty awesome. I'd be a little concerned about whether they ever actually deliver it and whether you get any money back if they don't, but other than that, it looks good :lol:

The fact you could put it in a backpack and use it at the club before someone comes along for a hit is a big plus. As is being able to program training against a particular shot an opponent messes you up with (although how you actually replicate that isn't really spelled out).

The 30 ball hopper is a drawback, but if they are smart (or the buyer is), I'm sure an extended hopper could be devised.

Author:  Debater [ 02 Jun 2016, 08:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

I asked them some questions via Kickstarter. I'm intrigued to see how / what they say in response.

"Hi, my name is ***** and I test table tennis equipment and post the results on YouTube as PathfinderPro - https://www.youtube.com/user/PathfinderPro.

I am looking at expanding my equipment testing capabilities and am intrigued by the mobility of trainerbot. For the majority of tests I'll be firing a ball directly downwards from a given distance at a sheet of rubber attached to a substance with a COR rating as close to 1 as I can source. Trainerbot looks like an interesting option for launching the balls at controlled and consistent speed and spin rates at these sheets of test rubbers.

I have a number of questions about trainerbot please:

1. Can the feed mechanism still work if trainerbot is laid horizontally so it fires balls vertically downwards?

2. Trainerbot is currently cylindrical in shape which means if I lay it horizontally the chances are it will move (roll) and any movement will invalidate my test results. Are there any mountings on trainerbot to allow me to fix it in a horizontal position whilst in use?

3. I currently use a TT Matic 500 robot. It feeds balls by forcing them through foam rollers. These foam rollers wear out. You don't mention what the feed mechanism is, nor the life expectancy of the wearable parts, nor if it's possible to buy replacement parts should these wear out. I can't afford to invest in a product which might work great for a few months but then due to wear issues the feeds become inconsistent and spare parts aren't available. If you intend to sell spare parts (good source of secondary income for you), what type of parts do you expect to wear out, how easy will it be to replace them and what will the cost of spare parts be?

4. When choosing where to fire the ball, you select a section of the table in the app. When I've used the TT matic 500, the velocity of the ball and spin rates used will dramatically affect the accuracy of the ball feeds and where the ball lands (even an inch difference in landing point on the table can dramatically affect the outcome of results in rubber rebound tests). There will also be times when I won't be using a table (firing the ball directly downwards at the rubber). The power used to fire the ball in to a certain section of the table looks like it's using algorithms based on the standard size of table tennis table. If I meed to aim the ball at distances further away than 9 feet can trainerbot cope with this or is it limited to trajectories with a maximum distance of the length of a table tennis table (9 feet).

5. Is it possible to specify the actual spin rates of the ball and speed eg set 60rpm, 75rpm, 100rpm and specify the actual launch speed eg 50mph, 60mph. I need to be able to specify spin rates and speed of the ball so that I can then use high speed photography to measure the rebound speed and spin rates and angle or rebound. You reference customisable settings like 1-9 but exactly what do 1-9 equate to in real terms?

6. How accurate is trainerbot. If you fired 30 balls at each section of the table, what would be the dispersion rates ie in segment 9 would the landing point vary by 1inch, 2 inches 3 inches or more?

7. How does this accuracy vary when different makes and types of ball are used (plastic and celluloid). I've produced a detailed comparison of the plastic and celluloid table tennis balls and know for a fact that there are quite significant differences in size of these balls. How does trainerbot cope with these differences to ensure consistency of results, especially if two types of ball are mixed in to the 30 balls trainerbot can feed on?

8. How consistent is trainerbot in feeding the balls in terms of spin and speed. Is there much variance in a batch of 30 balls fired at a selected speed and spin rate? What is that variance?

9. Watching trainerbot move and rotate, the motion seems quite jerky which appears to impacting on stability (use without the stand) and could impact on wear and tear of the moving parts. Will you be looking to "smooth" out the movements of trainerbot by including something like dampening.

10. Will trainerbot work in the UK where the electricity power supply rating is different to the US.

I appreciate the cost of trainerbot is relatively low, and from watching your videos you seem to be targeting the casual club player rather than take on the big boy tt robots like the Butterfly Amicus range, but if I can't ensure consistency in trajectory, speed and spin rates even $379 becomes an impractical investment for me as I won't be able to use it for the purpose I'd buy it, testing other equipment.

As a suggestion, I really think it would be good if you could include at least some of this type of information in your promotional literature. At the moment you reference some other robots but the crucial information is missing.

Congratulations on getting your idea off the ground and into production, no mean feat. Fascinating concept and I really like your enthusiasm which comes across in your videos. I look forward to watching how your idea continues to develop in to the finished article. Thanks for sharing on Kickstarter and good luck with making your dreams a reality.


One of the other things I'd like to seem demonstrated is can it duplicate serves. When you look at the app, the landing zones are all on the far side of the table. It would be great if it can land the ball first on it's own side of the table to replicate serves, especially short spinny ones.

Author:  Bobs_Your_Uncle [ 02 Jun 2016, 14:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Got a robot at the club. For a table tennis club they are definitely a good investment for any club but you need to have your smartphone to use the robot. I like robots for footwork drills and endurance exercises otherwise I will just find a hitting partner.

Author:  wilkinru [ 04 Jun 2016, 13:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

I think the Amicus is a very good design...I'd rather see someone build off of it instead.

Programming the unit is a huge one, there is lots it could do to simulate matches but it is limited by the current control boards.

I'm also not the biggest fan of the way it handles the oscillation, I think if the entire unit moved like more traditional robots it might feel more realistic and remove the "side spin on every shot" some people tend to see. Would require a heavy duty motor and more expenses.

Lastly allowing it to be moved around the end of the table would help create different angles we often see in matches.

Even I've toyed around with the idea of making my own robot, based off the amicus design.

Author:  hangdog [ 15 Jul 2016, 07:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Just a heads-up that the Trainerbot Kickstarter ends in 39 hours. Even though I didn't see any response to Debater's questions, the software-enabled functionality (programmable drills, etc) is killer at this price point. Pingskills and Brian Pace are now associated with the project, too.

Author:  hangdog [ 17 Jul 2016, 08:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

I almost went for it – it is much more configurable than my existing economy-class robots, and is 40+ compatible. But I already have ready access to quality opponents and training partners at a venue that's just 20 minutes away, so the incremental advantage of a better robot, at this stage, didn't justify the ~AUD600 shipped price of the Trainerbot Pro.

That $600 would have paid for:
• 10 to 15 one-on-one 1-hour coaching sessions; or
• 40 of the Saturday 2-hour group coaching sessions that I normally go to.

Either of which would lead to much bigger improvements in my game than a somewhat better robot.

Next time, Gadget, next time! Version 2, perhaps…

Author:  iskandar taib [ 06 Mar 2017, 20:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Seeing the post on the Ukrainian homemade robot reminded me of this. Nine months on, how's it coming along?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... pong-robot

Looks like they made their target easily (they only asked for $80K and got over $200K in pledges) and units will be shipping March 2017.. which is.. now?? :lol: Might still be able to get one for USD300+.. Yup, pledges of $349 and up still available. For another $50 you get 30 more balls.. :lol: Doesn't come with a catch net, nor does it have ball return. But you control and program it via your phone.

(Does embedding an animated GIF work? :lol: )


(Nope... )


Author:  iskandar taib [ 08 Mar 2017, 20:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Oops. Mistake. Funding drive is over. To actually pre-order one, you have to go here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/trai ... -gadgets#/

For $379, you get the robot, power supply and 30 balls. For $429, you get the robot, a stand and 60 balls. I think the stand allows you to set the robot back from the table. No catch net included. Estimated shipping May 2017.


Author:  rsilvers [ 04 Jan 2018, 10:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

Looks like they are saying February 2018 ship now.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... ts/2082563

Author:  haggisv [ 27 Aug 2018, 13:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter

It seems timelines continue to move... it's a little concerning how they keep moving it...

Here is an interesting post from a concerned supporter:

https://medium.com/@mkirank/trainerbot- ... 571b636a4f
Every month there are up to 10 new people backing this, what is the accountability of the Founders? Why do they not stop taking in orders until they ship? The deadlines are always close so that incites people that they will have a product in the next couple of months but there seems to be 2 years delay in shipping.

Author:  darucla [ 27 Aug 2018, 18:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Robot on Kickstarter - trainerbot

Perhaps a caveat should be added to the first post, to alert potential investors to the problems.

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