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Table Tennis Robots Reviews - Prakttismate PK1 and PK2 Ping-Pong Robots


Photo of Prakttismate PK1 Table Tennis Robot

Prakttismate PK1 Table Tennis Robot

Photo courtesy of www.prakttismate.com
For massive underspin, keep the big head on the bottom and the little wheel on top, little wheel set to reverse. First turn on the big wheel and set it to about 6, this will produce a strong underspin ball that throws almost to the end of the table. Next turn on the little wheel at low speed and slowly increase the speed. The little wheel will now do 2 things: it will add to the spin already produced by the big wheel, and it will cause the ball to shorten.

Eventually, as you increase the little wheel, you will make sickening amounts of spin and simultaneously the ball will get shorter and shorter; until finally the ball will come out, cross the net, turn around and go back over.

This similar setup with the reverse switch off on the little head will cause the little head to cancel the big head - in other words you'll get a dead ball.

Another thing about this robot that I really like is the electronics. This is a solid-state robot, old school, not a computerized one. This is great news, because it means if something breaks or if you want to tweak the robot you go to radio shack and you can do so yourself. Or you can send it back to Prakttismate for an adjustment. You couldn't do so with the VT series, I know because I tried. That thing was digital, and how the chip was set is how the robot was going to be. And if you wanted to change something, "too bad." According to Paddle Palace the robot was manufactured in Shanghai and there was no way to make any alterations.

Hopefully the new VT doesn't have the frequency issue that the old VT had, and hopefully the new VT will be able to swivel 360 degrees and produce massive spin. We shall see.

Question from Forum Member 'loopinfool'

How are you liking your Prakttismate robot now that you've had it a while? I'm seriously considering it for when I get my table set up again (used to have a 38mm Newgy).

Marco Answers

It's very good. Very versatile. Makes any spin, anywhere, any amount from none to extremely ridiculously heavy, and frequency can be from like 1 ball every 30 seconds to balls coming out almost continuously.

The only complaint I have is that it takes a little bit of effort to set it up and take it down. Not too bad, total setup time is about 4 minutes. Break-down time is about the same. (this assumes you've done it a few times and you are getting good at it).

I think if Prakktissmate made a free-standing version where the net attaches to the robot then it would be perfect. However, on my last conversation with Prakktissmate they said that the next robot will be programmable, so no plans in the immediate future for a free-standing model. He did say that all previous models will still be available, so that's the PK1, PK2, and the new programmable PK3 (I guess).

Questions from Forum Member 'pingpongguy'

I know about the PK1 only through the reviews from this forum and its web site. The things that stand out of the PK1 are the strong spins and speed and its rugged build. One thing that I have question regarding this model is the oscillation mode.
  1. Can the PK1 just feed balls at left and right corners alternately with adjustable separations between the two corners?
  2. Can it feed balls by sweeping incrementally or randomly from one to another predefined corner?
  3. Can it feed balls randomly between two predefined corners?
  4. Is the PK1 wheel durable?
  5. If your so called drawbacks that I mentioned above do not really bother me, do you still think that PK1 is a better deal?

Reply from Forum Member 'hereswhatithink' to 'pingpongguy'

Pingponguy, I know that you were asking Marco to give you a response, but if I may, let me mention a few advantages the PK1 has. It is able to give real loops. You can get wicked slow loops that are stronger than any player can give. You can get fast loop drives with lots of spin. There is no other robot that is able to do that. All other robots can only give top spin.

The PK1 wheels are made of rubber and seem to be durable.

Another important feature that I like about PK1 is that you can put the robot anywhere on the table and it will still pick up the balls and recycle them. That is a very useful feature when you want serves coming from say the left or right corner instead of just from the middle. I can also adjust the height of the head.

As far as oscillation is concerned, PK1 is random. This means that any ball can be anywhere on the table horizontally. However, because the oscillation speed is variable, you can synchronize the head -sweep and the ball feed so that the balls will land at the same spot for each shot. This is not precise, because sychronism can slip after a time.

You can set the oscillation so that the head sweeps over the entire table width, or, you can set it so that it sweeps only over a very small width such as six inches. You can turn the robot to send the balls to a designated area of the table when you have adjusted for a small sweep.

Hope this helps.

Later Post by Marco

If you want just serves and money is a problem, go with the Newgy. It does almost every serve except dead ball serves or fast dead ball serves.

If you have more cash and don't mind set up time and "tinkering" time, go with the Praktismate. It has the most spin of any of the robots, and does any type of serve. You can also set the head anywhere on the table (behind the end line). With Newgy, you can move it a little, I've seen it set up on a corner of the table, but the net moves with the machine so you'll hit the balls onto the floor if you don't aim specifically at the net.

Some folks like to work on just one kind of shot per day. So they wouldn't mind "tinkering time" (spending up to 5 minutes to get the ball just right). But I like to practice 10 balls of 1 kind of spin then 10 of another and keep switching and switching (as per my Chetan articles). So any robot that requires more than 2 seconds to switch becomes a real inconvenience.

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