If you want to improve your ping pong skills you’re going to need to practice and you’re going to need to practice a lot. If you don’t have a partner who’s equally keen to play every day then a good option is to buy a ping pong robot to play against on your own. Table tennis robots have a wide range of features and capabilities, suited for players of all ability levels. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ping pong robots on the market and what features you should look for.
Our favorites at a glance:
- iPong V300
- Butterfly Amicus Professional
- iPong Original
- Hui Pang HP-07
- Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro
- Newgy Robo-Pong 1040+
Those links go straight to the product pages on Amazon but below we’ve posted our guide to buying a table tennis robot along with all our product reviews in a bit more detail.
How to choose a table tennis robot
Technical specs to consider
Not all robots come with the same features or technical abilities so considering what you’ll need before you hit the buy button is important. Below we’ll cover some of the features we think are important so you can think about what you’ll need in your table tennis robot.
Can it produce spin?
Robots can generate topspin, backspin, sidespin, or no spin at all. Basic models may only be capable of one or two kinds of spin or you’ll need to change the settings to alter the spin. More sophisticated ones are capable of randomizing spin for a more complex game.
Some of the more advanced machines can also create bi-directional spin, which is something that human players can’t do. While this isn’t realistic practice against a human opponent, it does sharpen your skills to respond to unpredictable throws.
Speed and frequency
When looking at a robot’s specs the speed refers to how fast the robot can throw the ball, and frequency is how many balls it can throw per minute.
Simple table tennis robots have fewer speed settings and aren’t capable of high speed or high frequency. The more advanced robots have a wider range of speed and frequency options and can vary or randomize them.
Ball capacity and catcher net
Getting a robot with a large capacity is a feature you’ll find useful. Most table tennis robots can hold 100-200 balls at a time. Larger, more complex robots have a recycling net that collects and re-feeds balls for uninterrupted play which is very convenient.
Getting your robot to send the ball at a pre-programmed location can be useful when you want to practice a certain type of shot. Some of them can ve incredibly accurate in their placement too. Others have settings that vary where the ball will land and can oscillate to throw the ball with more variations.
Intermediate and advanced table tennis robots can allow you to play programmed drills to sharpen your skills. Advanced table tennis robots have a wider range of competitive drills, and many even allow you to program your own drills.
Convenient features to look for
In addition to these features, it’s important to find a table tennis robot that also fits your lifestyle needs. Some optional convenience features of a table tennis robot include:
Battery-powered or plug into the mains?
Is your ping pong table set up in the garden or garage where it’s far from the nearest power socket? If so you might be better off with a battery-powered robot but then you’re going to be constantly charging it or you’ll set up for a practice session only to find it’s got no power.
A remote control
Some robots have a corded or wireless remote control that allows you to change settings at a distance. Very handy to be able to switch between the settings from the other end of the table rather than having to walk around to change it each time you want a different type of shot.
Ease of setup and portability
How easy do you want the set up to be? Some of them can be ready to go in a minute or two whereas others may take longer to set up and need a bit more effort. Along with an easy setup and packdown you’ll want to think about portability and where you’ll be using it. Storage is another thing to consider as some are a lot larger and more cumbersome than others.
If you’ll be using your robot at home you’ll want to consider the people you live with as some table tennis robots can be quite noisy! Make sure to read some of the reviews from previous customers to check if the model you’re interested in is particularly loud if that might be a problem.
Some sophisticated table tennis robots come with a companion phone/tablet app, which not only lets you customize settings and program drills, but will help to track your progress and review your strengths and weaknesses. A really good feature for those taking their game seriously.
Many table tennis robots have some amount of onboard memory where they can store your settings for next time. This makes it easy to build a “library” of your preferences and switch between them, rather than adjusting settings every practice session which will save you a lot of time.
Our Favorite Table Tennis Robots Reviews
The iPong V300 is a simple, compact table tennis robot with good features and a small footprint. You can control ball frequency, side-to-side oscillation, topspin, and backspin. It can hold over 100 balls and shoot them at a rate of 12 to 70 balls per minute. It comes with a tilt stand to increase the variety of strokes, as well as a wireless remote control.
The iPong V300 has a programmable memory to save your settings, and a digital display to make it easy to configure and control. It sets up in just a few minutes, and uses regular AC power.
- Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to move and store
- Digital display, wireless remote, and onboard memory make it easy to choose and restore your settings
- Can be tilted for wider range of stroke placements
- Oscillation function can be unpredictable and shoot balls randomly to the side
- Can’t independently adjust the speed settings; adjusting topspin and backspin settings changes the speed
- Can be inconsistent and prone to jams
The iPong V300 is a great, affordable table tennis robot for a beginner to practice the basics of the game. It’s easy to set up and use, and the ability to store your settings in memory and use the remote control lets you quickly switch between different kinds of strokes. Most users will also want to buy a catcher net to simplify ball collection and reloading.
Butterfly Amicus Professional
The Butterfly Amicus Professional comes with a tablet computer and the AMICUS app (which you can also operate with your own Android or iOS device) to control the wide range of settings and included drills. It also comes with a small, key-fob-like remote control for quick pauses and frequency adjustments.
With the AMICUS app and the AMICUS Pro table tennis robot, you can use the library of 10 included common shots, or manually control frequency from 5 to 120 balls per minute, and control speed, spin, trajectory, and ball placement. You can also quickly mirror or reverse settings to change your dominant hand or practice forehand/backhand without adjusting any other settings. You can also randomize any of these strokes to vary the game and add interval training.
The Butterfly AMICUS Pro comes pre-programmed with 21 exercises created by table tennis coach Richard Prouse. You can watch a video in the app to see how each exercise should be practiced. Exercises can be modified or replaced, and you can create your own custom exercises and store them in memory. Exercises can be sequenced together to run automatically, or randomized.
The Butterfly AMICUS Professional comes with the tablet computer, small remote, a collection and reloading net, and a carry/storage bag.
- Huge range of possible shots and exercises with the ability to randomize and adjust them, for complex and realistic solo practices
- Comes with a tablet computer, collection net, and small remote
- The app can be used on the included tablet or your own device
- Coach-designed exercises and video demonstrate how best to improve your game
- Complex and difficult to set up and take down
- Robot relies on the app (and Bluetooth connection) to operate; if the app crashes or there are problems with the device, the robot cannot be used
- Very expensive
The Butterfly AMICUS Pro is a top-of-the-line professional table tennis robot, and the price tag reflects that. It has all the features and exercises you need for professional, competitive solo training.
The iPong Original is the original, more affordable iPong design. Like the V300, it is fast and easy to set up, lightweight and portable. You can adjust ball frequency from 12 to 70 balls per minute, and adjust topspin and underspin with the wired remote control. It holds over 100 balls, and weighs just 2.5 pounds.
- Lightweight, portable, and easy to use
- Very affordable
- Not consistent or reliable with ball speed or placement
- Needs tweaking and finessing in order to get most of the balls over the net
- With higher spin settings, may vibrate off the table
The iPong Original is the most affordable table tennis robot, and a good choice for adult beginners. It’s not a good choice for kids, because it does need so much fiddling and adjusting to get it to perform fairly consistently. However, for an adult who simply wants to practice some basic strokes, it’s a good option.
Hui Pang HP-07
The Hui Pang HP-07 is a simple, lightweight, portable table tennis robot with a huge range of shots. It produces ball frequency from 40-70 per minute. You can control topspin, underspin, left- or right-spin, or have no spin at all. The head can be tilted up or down at 7 different angles to produce different degrees of bounce. And the oscillation function has 8 different ball placement options, with different speed options. It has a storage capacity of 110 balls and can be easily adjusted with the wired remote control.
The Hui Pang HP-07 is a high-quality machine, with enough options to allow you to practice almost any stroke, including serve returns. It weighs 7.7 pounds, and is easy to use.
- Huge range of settings and options for various strokes
- Simple to set up and use
- Wired remote for fast adjustments
- Reliable machine
- Setup and operation instructions are in Chinese
The Hui Pang HP-07 is one of the most popular table tennis robots in China, with a reliable mechanical operation for great consistency and reliability. While it cannot randomize shots, it has enough speed and variation for great training and drilling. Users may need to search YouTube or online forums for instructions in English (there are lots of them).
Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro Table Tennis Robot
The Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro has an LCD touchscreen for easy control and programming. You can control topspin, underspin, sidespin, or no spin, and choose from up to 22 possible landing spots to practice different shots. With this robot, you can practice short and long balls, and it can shoot different spins on consecutive shots for more variation in practice.
Choose from the 30 different pre-programmed sequences, or store 9 of your favorite custom sequences. The visual display shows you the spin with each throw, so that, like in a real match, you can anticipate your opponent. It comes with a convenient catcher net and reloading system and also comes with 120 Nittaku training balls.
- Two-throw wheels for full range of spin and placement options
- Programmable and comes with 30 sequences, or randomize
- Displays spin before every shot, allowing you to anticipate like a human opponent
- Comes with net and reloading system as well as 120 practice balls
- Pretty expensive
The Paddle Palace H2W Touch Pro Table Tennis Robot is a favorite among advanced table tennis players, for its great range of realistic practice options as well as its convenience and reliability. It’s widely regarded as one of the best, most realistic table tennis robots on the market today.
Newgy Robo-Pong 1040+
The Newgy Robo-Pong 1040+ is Newgy’s upgrade to the old model so it can now handle the slightly bigger 40mm balls. It’s a very simple robot that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the more fancy models but does all the basics and does them well. It’s very easy to set up and you can plug it into the power (we prefer those to the battery powered ones).
With the 1040+ you’re able to customise a lot of the shots including the speed, frequency, height and angle and you can get it to oscillate and send balls to different places on the table which is useful. You can also adjust the different types of spin that it can send including topspin, backspin, left and right sidespin and even a combination of them as well as a number of other shots. It has a pretty large capacity being able to hold around 200 balls (with the bucket extender) another key feature that we look for when picking robots. You don’t want to be constantly picking up balls to fill it up again. It’s pretty reasonably priced too and comes with 48 2-star balls so you can get started straight away.
Anyway, that about sums it up for what we think are some of the best ping table tennis robots on the market today. We’ll keep this list updated as and when we hear of any new models making waves in the table tennis community. Let us know which one you’ve got in the comments below.