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AI training for table tennis

Pong bot, China's first artificially intelligent robotic table tennis serve, was born at the China Table Tennis Academy in Shanghai in July 2021. in January 2022, the Chinese table tennis team officially began using this Pong Bot for AI training.

This AI table tennis multi-ball training robot, Pong bot, is the world's first robot to serve with a paddle in hand. Pong bot has two robotic arms, one for tossing and one for hitting, which recreate a real person's serve and also simulate different playing styles by paddle quick change.

Pong bot serves 30-85 times/minute and has a maximum storage capacity of 180 balls. Not only does the hardware use "anthropomorphism" to make it closer to people, but in software, the R&D team also gives it the ability to analyze, adding modules such as motion trajectory analysis and movement analysis to it. Pong bot can be interconnected with cell phone App, and then set the rotation level, speed level and landing position on the cell phone, covering the full trajectory of the serve and realizing personalized training program. In this way, the trainer can input the training plan made by the coach into the program and then execute the training.

Its artificial intelligence algorithm can analyze the trajectory of table tennis movement, capture the player's posture, and then give feedback instructions to optimize the player's playing posture.

Training data such as player's top spin, bottom spin, serve frequency, backhand pull and side pull are counted on the app. At the same time, the algorithm will also make intelligent adjustments to the difficulty of the sessions according to the performance of the players. The training data will be synchronized to the cloud and can be displayed in real time at each terminal, which is convenient for coaches and players to understand their own self strength. In the past, coaches needed to train each student one by one with multiple balls, so it was often difficult to take care of all students in one lesson. With the help of Pong bot, the coach's hands are freed. One robot can be responsible for three players at a time, and one coach can be freed up to watch six players at a time.

In addition, compared with the traditional manual serve method, the robot has made a great improvement in terms of difficulty, rotation and drop point of the serve. Players don't have to worry about level mismatch, the robot will train different programs for different levels and people from zero base to expert, thus helping each person to improve their table tennis skills.

In the future, the table tennis robot Pong bot will be introduced to communities, schools and gyms to help promote the popularity of table tennis.

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