I have recently upgraded my table tennis robot. For many years I used the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 – a very decent mid-range robot which served me well. But my head has been turned by a new model – one with extra features and a more modern user interface – the Power Pong Omega robot.
Two features in particular made me want this robot, (1) it could alternate between backspin and topspin in successive balls, and (2) all the drills can be controlled by an app, rather than manual dials.
I have been using the Power Pong Omega robot for a few weeks now, so I feel I can give a helpful and honest review…
Detailed production information
Easy set up
The Power Pong Omega robot doesn’t come with a thick user manual. At first I was searching the box, thinking it must have been forgotten. All I could find was a sheet of paper with a few set-up instructions. Could it really be this simple to set up the robot? Answer … yes.
In total, the first set up took less than 10 minutes. And this was me being very slow and careful – making sure everything was right. And most of this time was actually installing the Power Pong app on the tablet (which is provided).
But once you have set up the robot for the first time, each subsequent set up gets quicker and quicker. Now it only takes me a couple of minutes …
- Unfold robot
- Attach robot to table
- Plug in power supply
- Turn on tablet and attach to table
- Connect tablet to robot (bluetooth or cable)
- Start playing!
Here’s a short video to demonstrate how quick it is to set up the Power Pong Omega robot…
Using the app
The Power Pong Omega robot is operated using an app on a tablet, which is provided. You attach the tablet to the side of the table, so it is always in reach when you want to start, stop or change a drill. The is also a remote control fob you can use to start and stop the robot, but I haven’t found a need to use this yet.
There are 40 drills already installed on the app, which is probably all you will ever need. Just choose a drill, set a duration and off you go. It’s that simple. Each drill comes with a video from U.S. coach Samson Dubina. Maybe these videos could be a little more helpful, but they will give you a good visual guide as to how each drill should be done.
A really nice feature of the app is that you can fully customise every drill. You can make the balls come out with higher or lower frequency. You can increase / decrease the speed of every ball. You can change the position of every ball. You can change the level of spin. You can change the trajectory of the ball. And there is a ‘mirror’ option, which allows you to completely flip the drill. For example if the drill was 1 backhand and 3 forehands, if you chose the mirror option, the drill will change to 3 backhands and 1 forehand.
You can also set up your own custom drills, which is another very useful feature. I’ve set up four new drills, specific to areas of my game I am trying to develop. These involve switching between backspin and topspin balls, short and long balls, fast and slow balls. You can be really specific in where you want the ball to land, with what spin and what trajectory. Usually when I face a loopy topspin ball, I will block. But I have been using the robot to practise counter-topspin. The looped ball I get with the robot is pretty realistic and I am now starting to make this counter-topspin shot against real opponents.
There doesn’t seem to be any limit to how many new drills you can set up, so I’m sure I will be adding more in the future.
The ease of use of the app is a really big selling point for me. It is so much easier to use than a manual control. It’s quicker. It’s more customisable. And it’s easier to visualise the drill you are setting up. You can even share drills you have created with other Power Pong Omega users..
Here’s a video of me explaining how to use the app. I show how easy it is to customise an existing drill and set up a new drill…
I have been using the Power Pong Omega robot for around 8 weeks now and there has been no reliability issues. The robot seems really well made with excellent components. Of course, I have been careful to look after the robot, but my expectation is that this robot will last for a long time.
I’d recommend getting a box or two of good quality training balls to use with the robot. I have a mixture of balls, and occasionally one ball will shoot longer (or shorter) than the others. I suspect this is because some of the balls I am using may be a little soft. Even with my mixture of balls, it doesn’t misfeed very often. If you have decent training balls, all of the same type, you shouldn’t have any issues at all.
Overall, I have found the ball feeding very consistent, which is exactly what you need for an enjoyable practice session with the robot. I have had no issues at all so far with balls jamming in the robot. If this changes I’ll update my review, but I have no reason to think so.
The robot has a continuous feeding mechanism. This means when you hit a ball, it will be stopped by the net behind the table and the ball will fall into the feeding tray. If you have around 150 balls, you can keep playing for 10-15 minutes, before you need to pick up any balls. If you are more accurate than me, then you’ll be able to play for even longer.
Here is a one minute video of me doing one of my own drills. The ball changes between backspin and topspin and then finishes with a slower high ball in the middle. The very consistent feed you see in this video is typical of what the Power Pong Robot does 99% of the time.
The spin the robot produces is realistic. It’s never going to be exactly the same as when playing with another human, but it’s pretty close. The robot can produce very heavy topspin and light topspin and everything in between. It’s the same with backspin. Usually I set up the robot to give medium-heavy spin. The top level spin may actually be more than I’m ever likely to face, but it’s there if I need it.
You change the speed and trajectory of the ball to set up exactly the type of spin you want to practice playing against. So you can practise against heavy, low backspin or floaty light backspin. You can practise against fast and low topspin or loopy and slow topspin. Or anything in between. Whatever your standard, you can make the robot feed balls in a way which is appropriate for you.
Here’s a video where I demonstrate the level of spin the robot can produce…
How does Power Pong Omega compare to other robots?
I own two other robots. I have a JOOLA Buddy v300, which is an entry level robot. It’s a bit unfair to make a comparison to the Power Pong Omega robot, as the robots serve different purposes and have very different price points.
A more interesting comparison is with my Newgy Robo-Pong 2050. I have used this robot for around 7 years and it has served me well. It’s a mid-range price robot (still the best part of £1000), very reliable with lots of drills and a good range of speed, spin and placement. But the big limitation of the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 is that it can only produce one type of spin per drill. So a drill will either be all backspin balls or all topspin balls.
The Power Pong Omega has no such limitation. The robot can feed both backspin balls and topspin balls in the same drill. This is so much better, as you can practice the transition from looping a backspin ball to then topspinning a topspin ball – something which happens frequently when we play for real.
The other big advantage of the Power Pong Omega is the user interface. The app is so much easier to use than a manual control. You save time and customising existing drills or setting up new drills is really easy (and fun!) to do. By customising the speed, spin, placement and trajectory of each ball, I can really tailor drills to my specific needs. The Power Pong Omega gives a more realistic playing simulation and is definitely the better of the two robots, although it is also more expensive.
There are other top range robots to rival the Power Pong Omega, but I have not used these so I can’t compare.
Most importantly, is the robot helping me improve? I believe the answer is yes, although my opponents may disagree! I’ll have been using the Power Pong Omega robot for 1 or 2 hours per week over the past 8 weeks. I’m using the robot to help me fix some issues with my loops, my backhand technique, my transition between shots and taking on slower spinny balls.
In my past few matches (practice and league), I have started to hit more backhand attacking shots and I’m taking my forehand attacks earlier. This is a direct consequence of the practice I have been doing with the robot. I’m feeling pretty fast and sharp, although I still make too many mistakes. With enough practice and repetition this will improve over time. And I’m sure the Power Pong Omega will play a crucial role in helping me achieve this higher level of attacking consistency.
Here’s a final video of me doing another drill I set up to help me improve my backhand. It starts with a shorter backspin ball, which I push. Next is a longer backspin ball, which I loop. Next is a topspin ball, which I counter-topspin. And finally a higher and slower ball, which I smash.
Is it worth buying the Power Pong Omega?
This is a fantastic robot. It’s the best I have used and a really good upgrade from my previous robot. If you are looking for an advanced training tool, this is as good as it gets. If you use it in the right way, alongside regular training partners, then it will definitely help you improve. I am very happy to recommend.
The Power Pong Omega does come with a hefty price tag. The current price is £1699 in the and $1897 in the USA. This is a lot to spend on a robot, although cheaper than other top of the range robots. If you are a table tennis fanatic like me, you can justify anything to pursue your favourite hobby!
You can buy the robot via online stores in the UK, USA and Australia using the links below…
Need more information?
If you have any questions about the Power Pong Omega robot, please do ask me. Either post a question in the comments section below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org