Coach CornerEquipmentButterfly Amicus Robots
[email protected] asked 6 years ago

Hi Dan / Tom / Fellow table tennis players,
Does any one have any experience with the butterfly Amicus robots? There is a new model Amicus Prime and it looks very cool in the promotion videos.
I wonder how good it is for training purpose, how close to reality the shots are, if any one has any videos of people actually using them to good effect, and how easy / hard it is to programme the drills?
Or if any one can do a review on them?
Thanks in advance!

3 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 6 years ago

Hi Jeffrey, I’ve not played on a butterfly amicus prime robot myself but I’ve seen he adverts and I’m sure the quality is good. What I would say is that a robot will never be a replacement for a “Real” human practice partner, just because its hard even for a high quality robot to replicate well how the ball reacts and travels over the table. That’s not to say there aren’t some great uses for a robot, such as getting the same ball in the same spot every time to really focus on getting the technique and movement of your shots right.

Maybe someone else on the academy has tried this robot anyway and can tell you what they think about it or make a quick review as you said Jeffrey!

bravehorsie answered 6 years ago

Hi Jeffrey,
I had used to play with robopong 1050 and changed it for Amicus start recently. I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet but so far I like Amicus.
What I like about my Amicus Start

  • Spin of the ball is not in linear relation to throw speed. (It can create quite spinny balls just over the net)
  • Spin setting is done on the panel, I don’t have to move to the robot and do some manual head rotation. It is really easy to set
  • Has random scatter to emulate more human like behavior
  • Vertical head position can be adjusted.

What I don’t like:

  • Shots balls only from the middle of the table (cannot be positioned crosscourt or near the net).
  • Not much feautures of drill configuration for the Start version (But as Tom points out no robot can replace human partner anyway so for grinding specific types of your shots it is sufficient).


[email protected]
replied 6 years ago

Hi Bravehorsie,
Thanks for your reply!
I have a robopong 540 but it only shoots balls in one direction, one speed, and it is quite tricky to adjust the ‘setting’ for each shot to work, so I think any upgrade will be better!

Thanks for sharing about what you like and dislike about the Amicus. In terms of adjusting each shot from the Amicus, is it difficult / troublesome? For example, you want to have one medium length ball (land on middle of the table), followed by one long ball (land near the end white line), with same amount of spin, is it straightforward to adjust the setting to make it happen? Are you able to adjust how long the ball travels without altering the amount of spin on the ball?


[email protected]
replied 6 years ago

P.S. What does the trajectory function do for each shot?

replied 6 years ago

Start/Basic amicus can’t set up a drill throwing balls with different shot length. Robopong 1050 can do this.

Yes – adjusting spin and speed independently is major Amicus feauture for me. Robopongs 1050/2050 Can’t do so.

Trajectory is vertical angle, or how high the ball is thrown. All is easy to set up through control panel.

replied 5 years ago

I got an earlier amicus robot. The benefits of robot in my experience are overrated. It is MUCH much better to get good practice partner or two. If I had good practice partners I would not use the robot at all. If you do get one make sure you video your strokes and get a coach to check your form. As also mentioned above it is easy to overhit against the robot with incorrect form. I try to practice the correct form using the robot for all the differing shots. I have had some lessons with a great coach so I know my form issues. For example on my backhand banana flick I was not getting the bat parallel to the table and starting at my right hip. Another tip I use is to vary the distance you return the robot shots from close to the table to far from the table. Most people just hit from the same distance using a robot. I also use it to overcome things that come up in the comp. So I was poor at returning short no spin serves. I set this up on the robot and practice my flicks on no spin serves everyday for a week to overcome this weakness. The next time I played this player I was able to flick her serves for more winners.

Steviethemuffin666 answered 5 years ago

Hi, There are lots of advice and guidance on ooak TableTennis forum for the amicus, and reviews on table tennis daily, I put some reviews of my amicus pro on there, the pro is like the prime but without the tablet, I also added drills.
the danger with a robot, is that you can keep playing the wrong technique unless you video it or get advice

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