If you’re an avid tennis player or a seasoned coach, you understand the frustrations of picking up tennis balls. It shortens rallies, breaks up momentum, reduces practice time, and is downright dangerous – bending over in awkward positions between rallies just to pick up balls. It’s not good for your back or your tennis game, for that matter. Thankfully, innovative tech startup Tennibot created a smart robotic ball collector that sweeps the tennis courts – retrieving your practice shots.
“Tennibot is an automated personal ball boy that never gets tired.”
Designed with complex algorithms, machine learning, and durable materials, Tennibot comes with an intuitive companion app that controls its pickup location. Whether you want to pinpoint the net or behind the baseline, Tennibot can be programmed to start collecting in designated court locations. Once the ball is found, a collecting mechanism gathers the balls and stores them into the machine’s basket, which can hold up to 70 balls.
“Tennibot is committed to creating the best player experience for tennis players around the world through innovative technology and beautiful designs that will improve their game level and eliminate frustration on the court,” said CEO Haitham Eletrabi in the company’s most recent press release.
Imagine after an epic rally with your tennis partner, you can simply enjoy the exchange versus having to retrieve a passing shot. To sit there and marvel in your crosscourt backhand winner instead of watching your opponent track the three tennis balls against the back fence behind the baseline. There is something lost in tennis when all you’re doing is picking up tennis balls. Tennibot eliminates the frustrations associating with collecting balls so you can work on perfecting Roger Federer’s one-handed backhand or Serena Williams’ powerful down-the-line serve.
With an estimated ship date scheduled for “sometime in 2017,” you can put your money on seeing Tennibot retrieving practice balls on courts throughout the U.S. By designing two versions (the personal ($399) and the larger club ($1,699) option), Tennibot creators hope to penetrate both private and public courts.
Armed with an iOS/Android compatible smart app, Tennibot hopes to change the way we play tennis – making it a more personalized experience. Whether it’s reminding you to hit the courts after a long absence or counting the number of balls you hit in a session, Tennibot’s companion app keeps you motivated to play tennis without having the worry of picking up your tennis balls.
How Tennibot Works to Help You:
• After hitting with a partner or tennis ball machine, Tennibot starts picking up balls. The user can specify a specific location (ex. at the net or fence) or can ask the Tennibot to autonomously pick up every ball on the court.
• A fisheye camera allows the device to panoramically scan the court for balls. The onboard computer analyzes the information, prompting the robot to move to the abandoned ball. Getting better with usage, Tennibot becomes more familiar with the player’s hitting pattern over time.
• Once the player finishes practice, Tennibot’s elegant and lightweight design is ready to be easily wheeled off of the court.
• The Tennibot app tracks the number of tennis balls collected and allows the user to share the practice data on social media.