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 Post subject: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2021, 10:41 
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So how do some of the randomising robots work ?
Do they have 2 or more heads ?
Are they truly randomising ? For instance, can I get a first ball fed to be right topspin to extreme deep right on my side of table , second ball fed to be extreme left backspin to close to net on extreme left of table, third ball to be dead ball to the center of table , fourth ball to extreme deep right with medium left sidespin topspin etc etc ?

Please don't laugh at me because I have never owned a randomising robot. Most variation I have seen is feeding same spins to left or right.


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 Post subject: Re: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2021, 20:33 
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Some robots and randomise the position and speed ball, but I don't think any will randomise spin, because they're no way you can read the spin, so there is no point.

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 Post subject: Re: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2021, 02:38 
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haggisv wrote:
Some robots and randomise the position and speed ball, but I don't think any will randomise spin, because they're no way you can read the spin, so there is no point.


Why can't you read spin ? You read spin in a match don't you ?

If you can train yourself to read spin (as much as possible) without looking at your opponent's racket movement and rubber color, it is far more beneficial. If you condition yourself to be proactive on you own looking at only the ball and not just "react" to your opponent's racket movement & rubber color (in fact most players even at higher levels don't even know or can watch the opponent's rubber color during a rally, as the sport was too fast even in 1983) that would be a better approach as that somewhat eliminates some variables that may negatively impact your ability to perform on your own. yes it is easier said than done but that is why I want a training robot to help me as much as possible.

I also strongly disagree with your statement "there is no way you can read the spin".
Reading sidespin is very easy. The ball will break to either left or right. (I am not saying learning to handle the sidespin & amount of it, is easy . I am only saying reading the left or right ball movement and therefore concluding it is sidespin is easy)
Reading whether topspin & backspin & no spin is "generally' not that hard because topspin usually shoots out or down(due to the spin pulling the ball additively in direction of ball travel) , backspin usually shoots up (or seems to stop, due to backspin pulling the ball back against ball travel direction) and no spin usually somewhat wobbles (somewhat like a perfect basketball free throw having "sort of" zero energy & no forward velocity, when it reaches the basket).
Yes estimating the amount of spin is the hardest but if one can train themselves as much as possible, what is the harm ? (And yes I am also aware of the fact that either top-spin or backspin is not just that and can be combined with left or right side-spin and that complicates reading of the spin quickly)
Yes non-randomizing robots are useful for many drills but there is no reason why spin cannot be randomized if speed & position can be randomized. Not sure how much of a challenge that may be but it may be possible. Solar cells had horrible efficiency in the beginning & who would have imagined cell phones in 1970's . In the evolving current focus on artificial intelligence (AI) I am not sure this thought is so farfetched.

Finally I do not know for sure but there may exist some robots that do randomize spin as well .


Last edited by Hubeer on 17 Apr 2021, 06:17, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2021, 05:45 
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With the Butterfly Amicus Expert it is possible to set 7 completely different balls and randomise them. The strokes can vary in position, height, speed, length and spin. But I find it very difficult to read the spin when the ball comes out of the robot. That is why I have designed most of the exercises in such a way that only the strength of a certain spin varies. However, it is possible to combine slow balls with backspin and fast balls with topspin. In this way, I can recognise the different spin by the speed to play different strokes in one exercise.


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 Post subject: Re: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2021, 09:54 
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Hubeer wrote:
Why can't you read spin ? You read spin in a match don't you ?

By 'reading' the spin, I meant looking at the opponent's bat movement just before contact, to read the direction and amount of spin on the ball, which is something that does no exist with a robot.
Yes you're right, you can judge spin by looking at the ball and bounce, but it's a lot harder especially for fast balls, and it's more of a last resort when you were unable to read the spin from the bat movement.
For that reason I don't think random spin is a particularly useful feature... while random speed and location is very useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Randomising robots
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2021, 01:29 
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haggisv wrote:
Hubeer wrote:
Why can't you read spin ? You read spin in a match don't you ?

By 'reading' the spin, I meant looking at the opponent's bat movement just before contact, to read the direction and amount of spin on the ball, which is something that does no exist with a robot.
Yes you're right, you can judge spin by looking at the ball and bounce, but it's a lot harder especially for fast balls, and it's more of a last resort when you were unable to read the spin from the bat movement.
For that reason I don't think random spin is a particularly useful feature... while random speed and location is very useful.


Sorry. IMO the most dominant characteristic of table-tennis as distinct from other racket sports is spin (of course ITTF had been trying to massacre that trying to take the spin away with somany rule changes as well as by going to TTX etc but that is another story)

So personally if I was making a robot I would focus on spin variations at least equally as much as speed & placement. Inability by the user to read spin is not a problem but a huge business opportunity to be addressed & solved

That said, even if spin was the least dominant element such as say for a pickleball robot, I would try to get an edge on the market by providing the ability to provide more spin. Whether or not how much it is actually used by the customer is not the issue.

Yes it is harder for faster balls to read spin but the user can start slow but move up to professional level. That is a the fantasy you want to market upon and nothing unethical about it.


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