One of, if not the most important part of mastering any sport is practice and conditioning. Table tennis is no different from any other sport, as it requires sharp reflexes, impeccable hand-eye coordination, and swift feet. Lots of people, such as trained athletes, have the privilege of being able to train with other people of similar skill at places like clubs where they’ll have practice partners and coaches.
However, not everyone has access to these resources, finding a place to play consistently may prove challenging, and not everyone has people to play with. Thankfully, modern technology has come up with the solution in the form of table tennis training robots. However, not every robot is made the same and each one comes with different features and specs. To that end, we’ve put together this review to help you choose which table tennis robot is the best for you!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 16 hours of research:
Best Ping Pong Robots of 2021 Reviewed – Overview
Here are the top 6 picks:
1. Newgy Robo-Pong 2055
This next robot is where things become more interesting and we begin to see how advanced these machines can really get. Just by looking at it, we can see that it’s obviously many steps up from the first two robots. The first thing that may catch your eye is the large net that sits behind the robot. That is a recycling net made to catch the balls that you volley back from the robot and load them back into it.
Meaning you won’t have to spend a lot of time picking up the balls that you used and are guaranteed continuous play. The net can hold a large number of balls as well. However, this is not the defining feature of this ping pong robot. What you should really be concerned about is the functionality of the computer of this machine. It is truly fantastic and allows for a huge plethora of training programs within the robot.
It features brand new electronics and software that allows the robot to select from 64 pre-programmed drills. There are even random modes allowing you to practice while being kept on your toes. The training programs included in this range anywhere from strokes, footwork, and other skills. On top of that, the robot can fire balls with a variety of different spins on them.
This includes topspins, backspins, right sidespins, left sidespins, underspins, combinations spins, and even no spin at all. You can train in all manner of different ways with this robot. It can even serve and lob balls. For convenience, all of this can be done via a digital interface on the robot.
The final, more advanced feature of this robot is that it comes with software that allows you to create and save your own custom drills on a USB drive. With all of this in consideration, this is easily one of the best table tennis robots on the market.
- Ball catching net
- New electronics and software provide a large variety of drills and ball spin options
- Included software allows for the creation of custom drill creation
- The highest price point of the machines on this list
2. iPong Play
- JOOLA - AN OLYMPIC TABLE TENNIS BRAND TRUSTED FOR 60+ YEARS: Launched in the 1950s, JOOLA has been the proud sponsor of the biggest tournaments in the world, Including the Olympics, World...
Starting off the list is a very affordable option known as the iPong Play. This is the simplest of all of the robots that you will see on this list, but that should be expected from something at such a low price. The simplicity of this robot is not a downside though, as it is really meant to help new players with the basics and fundamentals such as backhand and forehand shots.
There are no extra fancy features or confusing settings to be found on this training robot so it is perfect for the aspiring ping pong player. To follow up with that, the iPong Play lives up to its name by coming 100% preassembled right out of the box. The only extra required step beyond setting it up on your ping pong table is putting in the required 4 AA batteries and flipping the switch on the back of the robot.
A nice fact about this robot is that it actually comes with 20 regulation size ping pong balls ready to go. The robot itself can hold about 20 balls, so there’s no need to spend extra money on them. In terms of the frequency, the balls come out, the iPong Play fires about 30 balls per minute.
- Comes totally preassembled
- Easy to use
- Ping pong balls included
- Limited features because it is designed for beginner players
- Jamming may be an issue
The iPong Trainer is the direct upgrade from the previous table tennis machine. It sports an all-black finish, holds more balls than the iPong Play, and also has more features. For those looking for something more suited for intermediate players, you’ve found the right robot.
The Trainer is a bit more simple than other high-end ping pong robots that you’ll see on the market but it has all of the necessary features. With this robot, you’ll be taking the next step in your training.
In terms of features, the iPong Trainer is wired, unlike the iPong Play, but has a decent length power cord. The Trainer also allows you to change the speed at which balls are fired (12 to 70 balls per minute) so you can have a fast loop or a slow loop of shots to practice against. You can also choose how much topspin and backspin are applied to the ball. All of these changes can be applied via the convenient analog control box that comes attached to the robot. This robot holds a lot more balls than the previous one, it can hold up to 110.
It does require a little bit of assembly, but it’s as simple as fitting the pieces together and then you’re ready to go.
- The backspin, topspin, and speed of the balls can be adjusted
- Holds 110 balls
- Easy to set up
- Not Wireless
- Package List: table tennis robot+table tennis accessories(100 balls Random color :orange or white) .The remote control will still display the screen after pressing OFF if don't use for a long time...
For table tennis players looking for a cheaper alternative to the Robo-Pong, the Suz brand table tennis robot should be something to consider. Perhaps the most appealing thing about this robot compared to the one before it is the reduced price tag. It also sports most of the features that you’d see on the Robo-Pong, so you’re still getting a high-quality practice tool at a lower cost.
This robot has the ability to change up a variety of things up to and including ball speed, frequency of shots, and oscillation. All of these features and settings are able to be conveniently controlled via a wireless remote. What’s more, is that this remote can actually control the amount of spin that is applied to the ball. The remote has a very easy-to-read digital interface and the buttons on it are not convoluted or complicated.
There will be no confusion when you are setting up drills and trying to practice responding to a particular shot. This robot is also easy to set up, but not quite as easy as the iPong series of robots. It’s also light and easy to move around and it also clamps directly to the ping pong table, so there’s no need to worry about it falling off. For convenience, this robot also comes with 100 table tennis balls from the Suz brand.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to use remote control
- Plenty of settings to practice with
- No net to recycle balls, reloading must be done manually
- S201 ping pong ball machine come with ball recycling net collection system which can accommodate about 200 table tennis balls. There is no need to pick up the balls when you start to do solo training...
If you’re looking for a ping pong ball machine that is even more similar to the Robo-Pong, then look no further than this robot. This one looks almost exactly like the Robo-Pong. It attaches to the end of your ping pong table and has a ball recycling net that attaches to it. The net allows the balls to be continuously fed back into the robot, for almost infinite play as long as you’re not missing the net.
The differences between the two robots are that the S201 lacks the sophisticated software and electronics that allow the Robo-pong to make drills. It also does not come with separate computer software that allows you to make your own custom drills. However, do not let yourself think this is a lesser machine simply because there are a few shiny bits missing. The S201 has plenty of excellent functions, guaranteed to give you hours of satisfying practice.
The robot has settings a lot like the previously mentioned model, the S102. Anywhere from ball oscillation, to speed, kinds of spin, shot selection, and frequency control. Plus, all of these settings can be changed by the remote control that comes with the robot. This is an excellent pick if you’re looking for a robot that can provide all of the necessary components for a good practice session without spending a fortune.
- Ball catching net re-feeds the robot
- Plenty of settings to practice with
- Wireless controller to easily change settings
- Won’t work properly if there are less than 15 balls in the re-feeding net
- JOOLA - AN OLYMPIC TABLE TENNIS BRAND TRUSTED FOR 60 plus YEARS: Launched in the 1950s, JOOLA has been the proud sponsor of the biggest tournaments in the world, Including the Olympics, World...
Here we have the most expensive of the iPong robots. This one is a semi-transparent blue model that sports extra features compared to the other models. The training settings of this model of the iPong are similar to that of the other high-end table tennis robots we reviewed previously. Namely, this robot allows you to change the ball frequency, oscillation, topspin speed, and backspin speed.
All of these changes can be made via a wireless controller like the other robots. Where the V300 makes a big difference compared to the other robots is in its ease of use and convenience. Like the other models, it’s very simple to put together and simply sits on top of your table tennis table. It has an lcd display that accurately shows you the current settings you’re using as well.
This robot also comes with a tilt stand. This simple tool allows you to adjust the elevation of the V300 so you can adjust the height of its shots and ball placement. The robot itself has a ball capacity of over a hundred balls, making it a splendid choice for longer practice sessions. It is also recommended to buy a ball-catching net separately, as this robot does not come with one.
- Plenty of practice settings
- Easy to set up and use
- Digital display to keep track of settings
- Doesn’t come with a net or balls
Determining which of these table tennis robots is the best really comes down to the number of features the particular robot has. The more settings that come with the robot, the more ways you are able to train and practice efficiently by yourself. That being said, the best robot out of the six that we have reviewed is absolutely the Robo-Pong by Newgy.
While it is the most expensive ping pong robot out of all of them, what you’re paying for is surely the ultimate practice experience. The fact that it has so many different ways to practice makes it the superior choice. Not only does it have control over factors such as ball speed and different types of spin, but it also has preset drills that you can run.
To add to the already impressive amount of practice capabilities, the robot comes with free software that allows you to program your own drills. It also has the ability to randomize these drills and settings. With all of this in mind, the possibilities for improvement are nearly limitless. The only way you could ask for a better way to practice is to simply play against another person.
The robot, of course, comes with a ball recycling system that also feeds the balls back into the robot. You’ll never have to stop in the middle of a heated practice session to go around picking up balls from the floor. It will surely save you from back pain. The only real downside to this robot is how expensive it is but with how much you can do with this robot, the high price tag is warranted.
Ping Pong Robot FAQ
1. “What kind of ping pong robot is best for me?”
This question really depends on the skill level of the user. If you’re an amateur player, it would be unwise to invest in a robot that has a lot of fancy features attached to it. Your focus should be on learning the basics and increasing your hand-eye coordination skills.
A more advanced or competitive player will probably need a robot with a larger variety of options. Therefore, amateur players should look for cheaper models that have basic features such as ball spin and speed. Advanced players should look for robots with a wider variety of settings and perhaps a way to practice a variety of drills.
2. “What are the best features for ping pong robots to have?”
The answer to this question boils down to three simple points: convenience, ease of access, and your own style of play. For instance, you might not have an electrical outlet near your ping pong table or don’t want wires getting in the way. Therefore, a wireless or battery-powered robot would better suit your needs. As a general rule of thumb, you should be on the lookout for these key features:
- Wireless remote controls
- Battery-powered or wireless
- Easy setup
- Program sophistication
3. “Are there accessories that will enhance my practice experience with my robot?”
Yes! There are a few things out there that can really make up for a robot’s shortcomings if you’re willing to spend a little bit of extra money. The two most necessary things to look for are a catch net or a ball-picker. The ball-catching nets that are sold separately are pretty much identical to the ones you will see attached to the higher-end robots.
Ball pickers are much more simplistic and are just hand-held nets that allow you to easily grab ping pong balls off the ground without having to repeatedly bend over and possibly hurt your back. If you’re looking for a demonstration as to what it looks like while practicing with a ping pong robot, check out this video: