Robert is a professional journalist who’s also a freelance writer in his free time. He loves science-fiction stories and documentaries about UFO. Robert is also planning to write his own science-fiction novel in the nearest future.
Gary has been playing table tennis for as long as he remembers and is a winner of numerous regional and a few international tournaments. In his free time, Gary loves jogging and camping with his wife and two kids.
Last updated: December 25, 2020
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A ping pong robot is a training device that can be used to play table tennis alone. You’ll find this machine useful especially when there is no training partner around, during the summer break or on days when there is no training. Besides not everyone wants to play in a club. And a suitable training partner cannot always be found in their free time. This is why we are presenting a solution in this review of the best ping pong robots.
While selecting each of the robots, we looked into several factors that determine their quality and performance. These are the operating power, ball capacity, frequency, spin options, dimensions, weight, and warranty. With the machines we’ll introduce to you, you can train independently and at any time. In our product comparison table, you will find the best ping pong robots from different manufacturers.
More features: remote control, digital display, side to side oscillation, 40 mm iPong balls recommended, 80 high-quality 40mm ABS balls come included, compatible with all 9’ x 5’ table tennis tables, new software, memory function
The Joola Buddy V300 is a further development of the immensely successful predecessor model Joola Buddy Pro. This new ball robot comes with an oscillator. You can now train with different types of strokes and it can throw around 20 to 70 balls in a minute. The iPong topspin table tennis training robot gives even the experienced ping players an immense challenge.
However, the balls can only be thrown at a very high speed, often unfavorable for newbies. There are 2 ball ejection frequencies (20 or 70 balls/min). There are 5 levels for topspin and undercut balls (with 2 topspin intensities being adjustable) and an oscillator function. The Buddy V300 is certainly suitable for children and/or beginner training or the like.
The balls also tend to get stuck, which is extremely disruptive for the game. Furthermore, there is also a downside in terms of precision with the Joola TT Buddy V300. Even if the head is in the same position, the balls can land in quite different places on the table.
What we liked: The positive thing about the table tennis practice robot, first of all, is the low purchase price. The weight of just 1.1 kg is also an advantage, as is the super-fast assembly and disassembly. Also, most ping pong machines don’t come with balls; but this model comes with 80 ABS balls. It is one of the best table tennis robots for intermediate and advanced users.
What could be better: As expected with a machine with such a low price, the setting options are limited. The balls also tend to get stuck too frequently.
More features: controller, 0-5 level swing speed adjust, 2 wheels drive, 7 angle setting, ball speed 4-40 m/s, fixed dropping, short/long ball switch, to be used with table tennis balls with a diameter of 40mm
If the Joola Buddy V300 is too fast for beginners, then newbie players will definitely like the LICa ping pong robot. The LICa model is a portable table tennis machine with an automatic ball launcher and ball thrower. It’s a table tennis training machine which beginners can use to practice. It works with 4 AA batteries.
The device has a stylish fairway that can hold up to 15 balls at a time. It serves the ball once every four to six seconds, about 15 times in a minute. The robot is made for the general table tennis players – students, enthusiasts, and beginners.
What we liked: It doesn’t require plugging into an electric socket. It uses AA batteries.
What could be better: The machine doesn’t spin. It is made of cheap ABS plastic and may not be durable. But for its price, we don’t expect better.
Spin options: topspin, backspin, left sidespin, right sidespin, top/left spin, top/right spin, back/left spin, back/right spin, no spin
Dimensions: 2.5 x 0.9 x 0.8 feet (folded, with net)
Weight: 13 lbs
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: wireless Bluetooth control with the Amicus app, Android tablet, 120 Butterfly Easy Balls, carry bag and net included, 6GB memory capacity, adjustable 8″, 9.5″, 11″, 12″ from table, 3-wheel design
The Butterfly Amicus Prime is a luxury ping pong machine that comes with endless premium features. The robot is easy to transport in the carrying case. It can be assembled or disassembled quickly. This takes less than 2 minutes. You can take it with you in your car to training at a club.
The precision is quite good. At the push of a button, you can also set a slight scattering so that the balls are played in more imprecisely and closer to the game.
According to the manufacturer, you have a 2-year guarantee and 5 years service for repairs and spare parts from the date of purchase.
What I liked: The Butterfly table tennis robot comes with a carry bag and net, 120 butterfly balls, an Android tablet, and has an app for endless fun and functionalities.
What could be better: A disadvantage is that the robot is attached to the edge of the table in the middle behind the table and the balls always come from the same direction. You could move it to the left/right. But then you have to move the entire safety net with it.
Spin options: topspin, backspin, left sidespin, right sidespin, combination spin
Dimensions: 60 x 30 x 14 inches
Weight: 18 lbs
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: 48 x 2 Star 40+ balls, set-up DVD and training manual included, analog controls for ball speed, frequency and oscillation, recycling net system with side nets, non-stop action, 8 oscillation ranges
The Newgy 2040+ is a good table tennis robot for players who need an entry-level table tennis machine. Coming at a budget-friendly price, it is sturdily-built and can make all spin types. The robot can hold as much as 120 balls and makes continuous ball services for several minutes at each round.
It comes with side nets that will capture your returns and recycle the process. The balls’ speeds and the robot’s position on the table can be positioned as you want.
Made for beginners to get by with, the ping pong robot comes with its training manual and setup videos on a DVD. Easy to set up, the kit takes around five minutes to be assembled. The included net catcher for the balls which will suit any table size. Although it is made for a beginner to be able to get along with it easily, it is a very advanced machine for advanced players.
What we liked: We like the fact that this robot comes with 48 standard-sized ping pong balls. You can adjust the ball speed, oscillation, and frequency by using the analog controls.
The H2W Touch Pro from Paddle Palace is a plug-in automatic table tennis machine with a ball capacity of up to 100. For intermediate users and advanced players, the Touch Pro can make from 28 to 95 services per minute, depending on your level. The model comes with 120 high-quality Nittaku balls.
With fully-packed high-end features, it is the perfect option for trainers who look to hone their skills faster. Even though the price is on the high end, it offers a great value for the money. The spin options are adjustable to no-spin, sidespin, underspin, and topspin. The package includes a touchscreen remote control. With it, you can program the shots to 22 spots with or without spins on the table.
Also, you have 30 preset drills. You can select from advanced to beginner drills. It’s a standing ping pong machine and doesn’t need to be attached to a table.
What we liked: One of the things you’ll like about the Touch Pro robot is that it comes preassembled. Unlike other machines, it doesn’t require any setup. It is one of the best table tennis robot machines for both experience levels of users.
What could be better: Asides from its price, it is a heavy machine. Carrying or wheeling is not easy.
Practice Partner 20 is a remote-controlled robot that features three mechanical controls for the operation. The robot is well-made. It is quite heavy but easy enough to lift to move to a different part of the table. You can control the oscillation from one side to the other.
The machine is purely mechanical. You can use the robot to serve you with different spins but sadly it doesn’t go so high. There are speed settings that go from 1 to 9. The speed setting which is at the top obviously determines how fast the balls are delivered. So, whether they just plop over than that or come at you quickly and bounce at the edge of the table the frequency setting controls how many are delivered per second. This can range from 25 to 80 services per minute.
The machine has good value for money but there are some limitations to it compared to robots in the higher price range. There’s only one head on the robot. You can’t for example have topspin to the backhand, backspin to the forehand. Also, you can’t have a fastball to the backhand and a slower ball to the forehand.
What we liked: The machine is purely mechanical. You can obviously set the machine to deliver the ball at the same spot every time. But you can also set it to deliver balls side by side.
What could be better: You can’t adjust the amount of spin. You can’t say you want slightly less topspin or slightly more backspin. The speed is regulated by the speed in which the balls come. Another limitation is that every single ball has to have some type of spin; you can’t have no-spin.
The HP-07 is a table tennis robot made by the Chinese manufacturer, Huipang. It is available on the market under brand names such as YAETEK Robot, CHAOFAN 36-Spin Ping Pong Machine, Popsport, and Promotor Table Tennis, among other names.
Designed for casual and intermediate players, the HP 07 at an under 300 price and its amazing features is a steal! Returnable with money refunded within the first three months, the robot has a 12-foot long cord for connecting to the mains.
With a frequency between 40 to 70 balls per minute, the robot shoots with great speed, decent for those looking for serious training. It can generate all types of spins and can also be set to no-spin.
What we liked: With this robot, you have up to 20 spins to choose from. It features two motors for speed and spinning. You can use both plastic and celluloid balls in it.
What could be better: Could be better if it includes a catch net and an automatic ball feeder.
Things to Сonsider
After seeing the ping pong robots review, our buying guide delves a little deeper into the subject. In this section, we will explain the most important purchase criteria for you. Here, we will introduce you to the various types of table tennis machines. We will explain the advantages of oscillation and how many balls per minute the device should throw in order to offer you an appropriate workout.
Why purchase a ping pong robot?
Here are a few reasons why you need to add a ping pong robot to your table tennis training kit.
An ideal non-human trainer
Ping pong robots can help you progress quickly and efficiently. But it’s also important to remember that the robot is not a trainer. So you have to do your sessions under the eyes of a trainer or a partner at the risk of developing bad habits with a robot. If you use a robot intensely, make sure you master your technical basics before you start. However, if you want to improve your physical condition, reflexes, coordination, footwork, or just have fun, the robot is a very good partner. AA robot will never replace a real opponent, but it still allows for additional physical and technical work.
This training device is great for training because it provides significantly more consistency when playing. Basic strokes can be rehearsed better. Also, most of the training session is not spent picking up the balls.
The robot can be programmed to shoot balls at specific locations, so they are ideal for practicing your footwork. There is a great deal of ambition to reach all balls as much as possible, which is not usually the case with normal training exercises.
Training with a TT robot is particularly advantageous when a stroke technique has to be changed and adapted. Because in order to memorize a new stroke or a new sequence of movements, this has to be repeated over and over again. The ball robots always play the balls in the same way, so that you can concentrate fully on the new punching technique. The learning success is therefore a lot higher.
Helps you work on your weak points
If, for example, you are quite offensive but weak against certain types of backhands, you can configure the robot to throw a ball with a retro effect. This will thus improve your counter on this type of game.
Helps analyze gestures.
A table tennis trainer can use a robot to analyze very specific sporting movements. Indeed, a coach sometimes perceives difficulties in a table tennis player without determining at first glance the origin of the problem. A robot allows the trainer to focus on his student who repeatedly performs a particular technique.
Have fun at table tennis!
A robot can be a lot of fun if you train a group of people, especially kids. They will like it. It helps you make your own games and contests; beat the robot or beat your friends.
Features to consider while buying the best ping pong robot
Choosing a ping pong robot must be a deliberate action and must not be left to chance. This is because there are different types of machines for each user level and user class. Your experience, taste, and budget will largely determine what you choose. Here are therefore some features to consider while buying a table tennis robot.
Battery-powered vs. plug-in robots
When it comes to the power source of a ping pong robot, you have two types of models: the plug-in and the battery-powered models.
The plug-in robots: These usually have long cords and AC adapters which provide a sufficient distance between the mains connection on the wall and the table. Their main disadvantage is the lack of transportability. Examples of this type are the Practice Partner 20 and the Newgy 2040+.
The battery-powered models: There are two types of battery-powered models. First is the rechargeable model which has built-in batteries. They are either USB rechargeable at chargeable by an extending cord. The other battery-powered models are those which use removable batteries such as AA batteries. A good example of this is the LICa Table Tennis Robot.
The ball capacity of a ping pong machine will determine the level of user experience you have with these machines. A robot with too-low capacity will stress you up and you’ll end up loading balls than you’re hitting them. A model with around 15 to 20 loading capacity means you’ll have your training disrupted after some couple of minutes to tend to ball recycling. However, a machine with 100 to 200 ball capacity like the Practice Partner 20 and the Newgy 2040+ will ensure a long session.
When we all play table tennis, we all like to spin the balls with the bat so as to catch the opponent unawares. The same and more are applicable to ping pong machines. Although, some don’t have this option. So, for the best experience, we advise that you choose one with this feature. Many come with spin options such as topspin, backspin, non-spin, left-spin, right-spin, multi-spin, and more. You can find these in the CHAOFAN HP-07. However, there are equally some models with non-spin. This means all services will come with one spin or the other.
Speed options and frequency setting
The speed options in ping pong machines let each user find his type. The more the speed, the more they are recommended for advanced users.
The lower the speed, coupled with adjustability features, the more a beginner or intermediate user will find it easy to use.
So, what’s the right speed level for beginners and advanced users? For beginners, a suitable machine will be something like the LICa Table Tennis Robot which has a frequency of 15 balls per minute. Meanwhile, for intermediate and advanced users, any model with around 50 to 100 balls per minute like the Butterfly Amicus Prime Robot is perfect. The good thing is that most of these models, especially the ones with high services per minute, have an adjustable frequency. This means users with any level of users can choose them and just set the frequency to their liking.
Preset training programs
The more programs that can be selected at the push of a button, the less you need manual control. A good table tennis robot has a large number of exercises. So you’ll be able to have extensive training based on varying drills. Also, something like this is user-friendly. If, on the other hand, you want to have your exercises, you need simple, intuitive controls. Models like the Butterfly Amicus Prime Table with modern app controls can easily run with a smartphone or tablet. Everyone has a modern device in their pocket. Download the app quickly and you’re ready to go. This progress in the operation of table tennis robots is extremely important, especially for young people, who usually deal better with apps than adults.
Still, traditional control units can be just as good if the system is well thought out. In the case of TT robots, we regret to say that it usually takes a certain amount of getting used to in order to set the devices as desired.
So choose a ball machine that has the desired number of pre-set training programs and is also as easy to use as possible.
The oscillation, rotation, and placement settings help create real game situations and an even greater training effect. With the Butterfly Amicus, you can even change cuts during the session. In addition, each ball can be programmed individually.
Something like this is terrific for experts and experienced users. Such a complex training device is nothing for beginners and robot beginners.
Analog devices do not have such complex oscillation, rotation, and placement options. In contrast, these ball machines are more intuitive to use and, due to their limitations, are more user-friendly.
Therefore, we recommend using simpler ball robots if the level of play and experience with TT robots are lower. On the other hand, players who know what should be trained and how they should be trained should use modern equipment.
Ball return system
Now we have come to a slightly more practical reason for or against a purchase: the ball return system. High-quality, complex ball machines all have a ball return system.
The difference to table-top robots without return is that the robots are set up behind the plate. Some stand on the floor, like the Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro and are pushed towards the table. The balls roll back into the ball funnel in the installed ball catching net.
But do you even need a ball return? Our advice is no. Because even with a safety net, the balls fly across the hall and then have to be collected. Also, the 120-140 balls that such a ball container can hold are absolutely sufficient for an intensive exercise. You should be happy when it’s finally over.
But models with ball return systems are ideal for those who play the exercises cleanly and want to persevere as long as possible. But it is more of a luxury than absolutely necessary.
Dimensions, transportability & storage
Another purchase criterion is the handling with the table tennis robot. Where can you set it up? How easy is it to set up? And where do you store the device? The high-quality ball robots in particular are very sensitive or simply very heavy. So you need a good, safe place for the ball machine. Even if there are robots, like the iPong robot, that do not weigh a lot and are suitable for transport, we advise against overdoing transport. After all, sensitive electronics are built-in.
If you have a lockable cupboard in your club, you don’t need to think about anything when purchasing it. Otherwise, you have to look for a way to stow the robot well and safely or switch to a more mobile model.
The cheapest models are usually sold from $100 to 250. The most expensive ball machines can cost $1,500 to $200. In the end, the question is not what you can afford. We know it’s nice to always get the latest and most expensive products. Rather, you have to be clear about which ball machine is really needed.
You can choose the iPong V300 if you want an entry-level model because of the ease of use, the decent number of play option, and, ultimately, the good price.
Of course, as an experienced table tennis player, you would also like another model with more playing options.
However, in any case, the most expensive TT robot is not always the right one for you. And, especially, if you don’t have a robot yet, an inexpensive entry-level model is more suitable. Do not make your purchase decision based on the price in one direction or the other. Take a look at what you need and adjust the budget accordingly.
Tips for successful training on the table tennis robot
Determine in advance exactly which punches or punch sequences should be trained.
Find the right exercises before training. These should be well known or recommended by a table tennis trainer.
Limit the training intensity to e.g. 3-5 sets of 100 strokes per exercise.
Determine the speed and beat frequency wisely so that the exercises can be played correctly. Both too slow and too fast pace is counterproductive.
Record yourself on video (e.g. with your smartphone) and control your training. Technical errors or other problems are immediately apparent in the video analysis and can be corrected.
Ping pong robots are generally easy to set up. You just need to place the device on the opposite side of you. Depending on the model, you can simply set up a machine or mount it on the plate. You store table tennis balls in the machine’s container, which the robot activates and you’re good to go. Depending on your settings, you can get the balls thrown with different trajectories and speeds.
Although there are various types of balls such as celluloid balls, the most recommended and most used ones are the ABS tennis balls. 40mm balls are the standard balls globally and will be suitable for most robots without getting stuck.
Ping pong robots cannot provide the same training experience as with your trainer, opponent, or friends. But they are great devices for training alone when you have no trainer around and for making specific drills. So, which should you go for among the eight recommended models? Take a look at our final verdict before you leave.
The iPong V300 is our overall best and the Editor’s Choice. We like the training robot because it gives even the experienced ping players an immense challenge. It can throw around 20 to 70 balls in a minute.
Our runner-up is the ZXMOTO Robot. It wins our Best Value spot as it is a ping pong machine with 36 spin balls.
Finally, choose our Budget Pick, the LICa Table Tennis Robot if you need one of the best ping pong robots that come at a reasonable price. It is a portable table tennis machine with an automatic ball launcher which beginners can use to practice.