Robots/Drones
Trainerbot could take your ping pong to Forrrest Gump levels

Ping pong is one of those sports that absolutely requires another person to play with. There are a lot of caveats to that, though: If both players are terrible, not much will happen in the way of actual ping pong. If skills levels are vastly different, not much will happen in the way of actual ping pong AND someone’s feelings will be hurt. As a result, it’s difficult to effectively practice playing ping pong.

The Trainerbot turns any table into a suitable location for some hardcore ping pong practice. Its lightweight design can hold 30 ping pong balls but still be tossed into a backpack. This robot has a lot of functionality, able to serve any type of shot (topspin, backspin, sidespin) anywhere on a table and adjust difficulty depending on a player’s skill level.

Bluetooth connectivity to its companion iOS or Android app allows users to individually set shot location, interval speed, and spin type, or create sequences and drills based on an opponent’s hard-to-hit shot or the Video Learning Mode that matches what’s on screen for a tutorial of sorts. $379 gets backers a Trainerbot Basic, complete with a power cord and 30 ping pong balls, by March 2017. The Trainerbot Kickstarter campaign is looking for $80,000 by July 16th, 2017.

The ability for the Trainerbot to attach to any table makes getting a fix anywhere more of a possibility, a fantastic proposition for ping pong fiends everywhere. While it may not be the most popular sport in the states, it still has a fair share of followers, something that may increase with more affordable training solutions like this one. It certainly makes for a more palatable alternative to room-filling solutions like this.

Nicholas Echevarria currently calls Shanghai home but is a Brooklyn native at heart. He writes about lifestyle, tech, and design and, whenever he gets the chance, indulges his addiction to biking and Hearthstone. Check out some more of his work at https://clippings.me/nicholasechevarria.