Inspiration

Table tennis is a popular Olympic sport with very few professional players in most countries. It is expensive and can be difficult to learn with low availability of ways to improve. Currently, beginners can only learn professional table tennis skills by paying tutors expensive rates.

  • Difficult sport to learn
  • Many countries only have a few professionals
  • 5-15 years of $20-100 lessons to get to professional level
  • Wide number of attacking and defensive strokes, and transitions between them
  • 19 million casual Americans players
  • 9000 semi-professional and professional American players

What it does

GUI

  • Three screens: Profile, training, playing

Analytics Dashboard

  • Line and bar charts
  • Login page supporting multiple users
  • Dynamic file loading
  • Switch between datasets for each round, match, or timeframe

Enclosure Design

  • Standard pads on paddle
  • Custom enclosure to fit all hardware

Final Product

  • Sleek enclosure
  • 8mm thick (12mm with pads)
  • Wireless

How we built it

We went through three development sprints including 10+ enclosure iterations, 4 hardware iterations, and constant software development.

Challenges we ran into

We spent most of our time on software, resulting in a not-yet-polished enclosure.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

While we haven't determined our final hardware setup, we have kept costs per unit very low, using only ~$20 of hardware per paddle, with on-board and javascript computing keeping server costs low.

What we learned

We learned a lot about software development for hardware projects, as well as hardware development. We were also able to make certain design choices that were new to us within the realm of hardware, such as going with a much more difficult design from an implementation perspective in order to keep costs minimal.

What's next for Smart Ping Pong Paddle

We hope to create a more refined enclosure and to figure out how to get consistent hardware performance at our current cost. We would also like to create certain custom hardware solutions (e.g. custom PCBs) in order to reduce the need for certain large, expensive parts with more functionality than needed.

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