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Startups during the war: A table tennis robot

01 Aug, 2022
Startups during the war: A table tennis robot

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by the materials of dev

For the sixth month, the Ukrainian people have been defending themselves on various fronts, setting an example to the world. All this time, the Ukrainian Startup Fund continues to cover the stories of startups that joined the fight against the enemy and adapted to work in wartime.

Today we will talk about the Kharkiv hardware startup TenniRobo - the winner of the 10th Pitch Day from USF. In September 2020, the TenniRobo team received a $50,000 grant from the Ukrainian Startup Fund.

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TenniRobo is an innovative compact robot for table tennis that combines a skillset of the professional trainer with intuitive control via smartphone. The Bluetooth connected table tennis machine allows the user to simulate any kind of shots or their combinations, and through the numerous training sessions to reach an undisputed level of superiority.

Sergey Vasiliev from Kharkiv assembled the first TenniRobo prototype in 2016. The device plays the role of a table tennis coach: it serves balls at different speeds and forces. The task of a tennis player is to learn to hit the most difficult serves. The inventor of the startup planned to launch on Kickstarter in the early spring of 2022.

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Serhii Vasiliev is 41 years old. He has two higher engineering degrees. The first is production of electronic systems, obtained at the Kharkiv Aviation University. The second is software engineering at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics.

In 2013, Serhii became interested in table tennis and wanted to beat his rivals. But they were interested in playing immediately "on the score", but not practicing the moves. The inventor wanted a robot that could be brought with him, set up, and taken away after training. But it was expensive.

At that time, there was a choice on the market: either primitive works at a high price, or overall works with good functionality for an incomparably large amount of money. There was no middle segment for the average consumer.

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The first attempt in 2013 began when the engineer liked the idea of ​​a Japanese man who posted his version of a bucket robot on social media. The Ukrainian wanted to repeat it. In 2016, Serhiy returned to business. The first prototype he assembled in 2017 won the ST Embedded World Contest 2017. Then he realized: that people needed the project. And when I published a few videos of TenniRobo on YouTube, people started asking about prices and asking to sell the robot.

The engineer managed to evacuate, now he is outside the Kharkiv region. There is still no possibility of returning home - his house is located 2 km from the district road, where Russian bombs are flying. The startup says that it continues to work on the project because of its great interest. TenniRobo received an offer from one of the European companies for joint integration.

TenniRobo decided to make our Android application available to all users without registration. Now you can access the application without any restrictions. You don’t need to ask us to add your email to the list of approved users. You can sell or buy any used TenniRobo without the concern of losing access to the app.

TenniRobo also calculated possible production options. But for now, this direction has been postponed.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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