Forum member Marco Borrillo writes about his experiences with the TW2005-05 Table Tennis/Ping-Pong Robot.
Two Wheel Table Tennis Robot Design
Cost: $1200. I had a chance to use this robot for a day. It is very different than the Newgy or the Y&T-V988. This robot uses 2 wheels design. What this means is that one wheel creates underspin, and the other wheel creates top spin. You can control the speed of each wheel independently with 2 easy-to-use buttons. So just turn the underspin button to 0 and turn up the topspin and you've got a topspin ball. Do the reverse for an underspin ball. Set both wheels at the same speed and you've got a dead ball. Use higher settings for faster balls, lower settings for slower balls. Mix and match to create either a lot or a little of underspin or top.
Head AdjustmentThe head on this robot is rather high from the table as compared to Newgy or Y&T. But it has a metallic "hood" that you adjust manually to control the trajectory of the ball. See, the ball shoots up out of the robot and hits this metal hood with a loud "twang" and then comes out. Leave the hood in the highest position and you get a high-trajectory ball like a slow looping arc. Screw down on this hood and you can make the ball shoot 45 degrees into the table. Here's the problem with this system: what if you want to work on a bunch of slow loops and then later want to practice against serves? You have to stop and turn that screw about 30 times. This is not convenient compared to the Newgy or Y&T which you can adjust literally in seconds.
This robot shoots balls left or right into 1 of 9 different spots. This was easy to use. Just push the left button and the indicator lights will light up showing you where the next ball will come. Keep clicking left or right to control where the ball will shoot. There is a "random" function that I liked a lot. This works very well.
Programming the Table Tennis RobotThe robot is "programmable" in that you can ask it to shoot one ball to one spot and the next ball to the next spot. However, speed, spin and depth will always be the same depending on how you set those 2 buttons (underspin or topspin). Furthermore, the instructions were not clear on how to actually program the robot. No examples are given. In fact, I never did figure out how to program that thing. But that's o.k., I'm sure if I just kept fiddling with it long enough I would eventually figure out how to program it. Maybe the designers should put in more than 1 paragraph on how to do it.
SidespinHere's the serious drawback (for me) of this robot: while the 2-head design is great for no-spin; the disadvantage is that you can't make 100% sidespin. In fact, the heads rotate only 45 degrees in either direction. So the best you'll ever get is "side-top" or "side-under." Furthermore, while you can rotate the head in seconds, doing so will greatly alter the location of the ball because of that HOOD.
See, if you have the hood screwed down (like as if to create a serve) and you rotate the head one way or the other, you've just made that hood shoot the ball right off the table. So you have to open that hood, again turning it 5-15 times. Obviously, therefore, you cannot go from topspin to sidespin quickly like you can with Newgy and Y&T. You will have to take much more time to fiddle with that hood.
Table Tennis Net AttachmentI'm also not crazy about how the net attaches to the table. You need to screw on these handles to the table ends, then bars attach to these handles. Then the net secures to these bars. This is not very convenient. So setting up and breaking down the robot can take a long time, compared to the Newgy and the Y&T which are almost instantaneous.
Amount of SpinOne more problem: this robot did not make a lot of spin on short slow balls. Not even close to the ammount of spin that Newgy or Y&T could make. My theory is that this is due to the wheels. While Newgy and the Y&T use a smaller rubber wheel; this robot uses very large "foam" wheels. The foam is just simply NOT very grippy. At slow speeds, there is not much spin at all. But how can you make this robot recreate a serve unless you put the speeds slow? You can't. So, bottom line, the fastest I could make the robot was #4, after that the ball is shooting way too high, and at #4 you can barely see there's any spin on the ball. But, if you like to practice against short dead balls, this is the robot for you. It can make extremely dead short balls. Newgy or Y&T simply cannot.
So you see, I want to stress that there is not any robot that does everything perfectly. This robot does make very good speed and spin for long balls. It makes very good dead balls or just light spins for short balls. So if you want to practice against dead balls fast this is the robot for you. If you want to practice against very spinny short balls and be able to QUICKLY change the spins, and practice against pure side spin serves, then get the Newgy or the Y&T.