Lockdown Diaries: Sathiyan starts training with a robot

The table tennis robot was funded by the Go Sports Foundation with help from SDAT which took care of the import duty and customs clearance.

The speciality of the robot, according to G. Sathiyan, is that it can serve and return the ball at different speeds, trajectory, frequency and spin.

The speciality of the robot, according to G. Sathiyan, is that it can serve and return the ball at different speeds, trajectory, frequency and spin.   -  Special Arrangement

India’s top paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is making optimum use of his time at home in Chennai.

The 27-year-old now has started playing table tennis, not with any other player, but with an imported robot at his residence. “It’s a remote-operated robot (Butterfly Amicus Prime for advanced players). I got it from Germany under the advice of my coach S. Raman in November last when Shen Yaohuan of China came to the Raman TT Academy.

Now with the lockdown in place, I took it back from the academy so that I can practice,” said Sathiyan, who won the MVP (male) award in UTT Season 3.

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The robot was funded by the Go Sports Foundation with help from Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) which took care of the import duty and customs clearance.

The speciality of the robot, according to Sathiyan, is that it can serve and return the ball at different speeds, trajectory, frequency and spin.

“Of course, the imported robot can never replace a human. It gives one shot for a backhand and another for a long forehand whereas a normal robot will put the ball only at the same speed. It can send 120 balls per minute and 300 balls can be loaded into it,” he said.

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