Ping pong is a two (or four) player game, but if you need to practice alone then a robot server can help. Though basic cheap models are available, more advanced features can come with a pretty high price tag. Joola says that its Infinity Smart Table Tennis Training Robot boasts advanced features for a fraction of the cost of high end robot trainers.

The result of a partnership between Joola and iPong, and five years in the making, the Infinity Smart Table Tennis Training Robot is currently in the final stages of development and has been launched on Kickstarter to fund production.

The robotic ping pong training partner can produce topspin, underpin, side spin or no spin, and can fire out pin pong balls at between 30 and 100 balls per minute. Joola says that it can pretty much emulate any shot by moving 150 degrees side-to-side while firing balls up by 50 degrees or down by 30 degrees. And users have custom control over spin, frequency, speed and trajectory settings.

Pre-programmed training sessions can be selected on a mobile companion app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone, with Joola aiming to regularly add drills – free of charge – from world-ranked players and coaches.

The Infinity Robot comes supplied with a catch net and a ball recycling feature that "funnels the balls right back into the robot for constant non-stop action." And 100 training balls will be included in the package.

Joola's new training robot has a similar feature set to US$2k high spec models from the likes of Butterfly and Newgy, but Kickstarter pledges start at $499, which represents a 50 percent saving on the expected retail price. If all goes to plan, units are estimated to start shipping in December 2020. The video below has more.

Sources: Joola, Kickstarter

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