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Circuit Breaker

Playing ping pong with TrainerBot

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I love ping pong, and I'm actually not terrible at it. I have quick reflexes, and I can deliver a few different spins that some people have called "devastating." But I have certain weaknesses:

  1. My forehand. It doesn't exist. I typically just cheat over and use my backhand, which leaves me wide open to attack on my right side (I'm left handed).
  2. Top spin from the opposing player.
  3. Back spin from the opposing player.
  4. Seriously, any spin from the other side.
  5. Defending myself from slams.

TrainerBot can probably at least help me with the first four weaknesses. It's basically a pitching machine for ping pong, but instead of just firing shots down the middle of the table, it can aim each shot individually and apply specific spin to each one. You can play through sequences of shots, like it's a video game, and even share your shots with friends. There's also supposed to be a training mode that shows you a YouTube video and then reproduces the shot on that video.

So it's a little expensive: $329 for the "early bird" version on Kickstarter, and it costs extra if you want the stand that attaches to the end of the table. Also, you might want to spring for a net, because it's a bit of a chore to pick up all the ping pong balls. But all that said, TrainerBot is kind of great. Check out the video above to see it in action.