Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Sorin Petroj
If you are a serious table tennis player, no wonder you have been thinking of getting yourself a practice partner, perhaps the Start table tennis robot from the Butterfly Amicus series. If that’s so, you’ll find this Butterfly Amicus Start review helpful.
We have been testing the Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot for several weeks now and have found it to be a great way to improve your game. It is an affordable and convenient way to train on your own at home, in your garage, or basement. It also comes with an optional remote control to change the robot’s ball delivery speed and settings.
But there’s more to it. In this Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot review, I will explain how it works, its features, and how much it costs so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing.
Brief Overview: What is Butterfly Amicus Start Robot?
Butterfly Amicus Start is a three-wheel head table tennis robot that attaches to any standard ping pong table, allowing you to train as long as you want. What can the Amicus Start do?
Firstly, the Amicus Start’s unique three-wheel design allows it to mimic champion players’ spin placement and trajectory, with unmatchable adjustment capabilities in the table tennis robot industry.
Secondly, the Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot is great equipment for those looking to get into table tennis. The Start is an ideal table tennis robot for many players, from beginners to intermediate and even advanced players who want a challenge. It is geared toward players who wish to develop their game without a lot of technical instruction.
Butterfly Amicus Start Robot Specifications
|Name||Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot|
|Control||Wired control box and optional wireless remote|
|Remote Control||Optional wireless remote control|
|Oscillation spins||Right and left spins.|
|Number of Shots Per Drill||Up to 6 shots. Adjustable for various position|
|Random Settings||3 Types: Random scatter, random place, randomly scatter + random place|
|Spin Settings||6 for topspin, 4 for backspin, 5 for right sidespin, 5 for left sidespin|
|Ball Frequency Range Customization||11-100 balls per minute|
|Ball Projection Height||4 adjustments (8″, 9.5″, 11″, & 12.5″)|
|Table thickness adjustments||Adjustable from 3.8’’ to 1’’ table thickness or|
|Speed/Spin Range||No spin to extreme spin|
|Shot Types||All spins include low to extreme spin settings, slow loop, fast loop, counter, smash, flat kill, dead block, push, chop, lob, and serve with spin variations.|
|Carry/Storage bag||1 Butterfly’s carry bag Included|
|Balls||120 3-star balls included|
|Ball Recycling Net||1 ball recycling net included|
|Side Net Attachements||Yes|
|Total weight||19.3 lbs approximately|
|Parts & Labor Warranty||3 years manufacturer’s warranty and 5 years guarantee on parts availability|
|Return Policy||30-days return policy|
How does Butterfly Amicus Start Robot work?
With basic settings for each shot: spin, speed, trajectory, and placement – the Amicus Start robot works as a practice partner for the players to master basic table tennis fundamentals. Here’s an overview of Butterfly Amicus Start’s technology.
The 3-wheel head: The 3-wheel robot head of the Butterfly Amicus Start produces a range of spins, including topspin, backspin, left and right sidespin, and no-spin. Compared to 2-wheel head designs, the 3-wheel head has more accurate shots and a range of different types of spin without rotating the head. The deflector plate of the robot permits the oscillation movement/ball placements of left and right.
Ball capacity: The ball capacity of the Amicus Start is 11-100 balls per minute with adjustments for up to 4 levels of height. The balls are also recycled automatically.
Ball feeding mechanism: Butterfly Amicus Start comes with a ball-catching net and the collecting net that automatically feeds the balls to the feeding tube.
The robot is designed to mount on top of table tennis tables with the provided clamps. The Start’s control box can be easily mounted on the side of the table with the provided mounting brackets and velcro strips.
Operation: It is a plug-in table tennis robot with the required adaptor and connecting cables to connect the machine. The wired control box lets you set the drills and frequency and control the robot. You also can choose a pocket-size remote control that is very lightweight and allows you to control the robot wirelessly.
The parameters: The Start’s simple menu system of the control box allows you to select basic shot parameters for the first drill and add up to five additional shots, with placement and spin changes. You get to make your table tennis robot more human-like by randomizing the shots simply by holding the control panel’s random button. Butterfly Amicus Start was created to help players practice their strokes quickly, learn faster, and become better at the sport.
How to set up Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot?
The robot is simple to set up and operate and can quickly move from one place to another. Here I am explaining how to set up the table tennis robot.
Assembling the robot and the net:
- Place the robot on your table tennis top by carefully removing it from the transport bag.
- Lower bars hold the net on both sides about halfway around 45 degrees.
- Rotate the curved tubular support legs towards you, as in outwardly.
- Slide in the curved tubular support legs under the table frame using your hands.
- Pull both sides of the net down entirely so that the corners of the net match the table’s corners.
Attaching the side net to the ping pong table: Pull the sides of the collecting net over the sides of the table and connect the rubber loop under the net with the central screw of the net post. Connect the velcro strips on the robot’s net to the corner brackets.
Adjusting the height: Turn the robot’s head forward by 180 degrees by loosening the screw on the back of the tube. Tighten the screw after adjusting the height, but do not overturn the screw.
Connect the power supply to an outlet and connect the power cable to the connector on the side of the base. Connect the robot hand’s cable to the robot base.
Connecting the Control Panel: Mount the control panel’s bracket onto the table and insert the control panel. Connect the cable of the robot to the control panel. The LED of the control box will light up once you turn on the power supply.
There! You are all set to practice table tennis with the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot. For a visual explanation of setting up the Amicus Start table tennis robot, you can visit amicusstart.pdf (butterflyonline.com)
Butterfly Amicus Start Robot Control & Customization
With the Amicus Start robot, you get to practice both strokes and tactics without relying on your partner’s skill level; the robot never tires and is always ready to challenge you with high-quality shots and spins.
Let’s learn more about the Amicus Start Robot’s control and customization.
Customizing the ball frequency: As previously mentioned, the Butterfly Amicus Starts’ robot head can deliver up to 100 balls per minute and is programmable for up to 6 shots per drill of various ball trajectories.
You can adjust the increment of the ball frequency from 11, 50, and 70 to 100 balls per minute from the ball/min knob of the control panel. By rotating the ball/min frequency to 0, you can stop the ball delivery of the Amicus Start robot.
There are six placement knobs for each of the six balls, with eight indicator marks on each of the placement knobs. Setting the knob at the 12:00 o’clock position dictates the robot throw the ball down the center. You can choose different increments for each of the six balls for variable placements. You can delete the ball program by pressing the “Erase ball” button.
Butterfly Amicus Start Robot – Control Box
The spin, speed, and sidespin: You can adjust the speed, spin, side spin, and trajectory of the ball from the control panel. There are 11 spin adjustment increments, which can be controlled by rotating the spin knob. Rotating the spin to 0 means no spin.
There are 22 levels of speed adjustments, which can be controlled by rotating the speed knob. There are nine sidespin increments, which can be controlled by rotating the sidespin knob. Rotating the sidespin knob to 0 means no sidespin. Rotating it to the left increases the degrees of the left sidespin and vice versa for the right sidespin.
Controlling the ball’s trajectory:
The trajectory knob of the Amicus Start’s control panel allows you to increase or decrease the ball’s trajectory or the throwing angle. There are nine increments marked on the trajectory knob with 15 steps of angle in between each of the increments. This means there are 165 steps of adjustment, allowing you to fine-tune the trajectory.
Ball projection height: Butterfly Amicus Start offers four different adjustments for the height of the head ( 8″, 9.5″, 11″, & 12.5″), allowing the player to adjust the simulation of the game.
Random Function: The random function of the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot allows you to practice table tennis by choosing any of the three types of randomizations as follows:
- The Scatter: This option increases the spread radius of the balls delivered by the robot from 13cm to 40cm.
- Place: This option lets the robot deliver the ball in unpredictable orders.
- Place + scatter: This option challenges you to practice landing shots delivered with random placement and random spread radius.
What is Included in the Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot
Butterfly Amicus Start is a full-fledged programmable table tennis robot and comes with everything you need to set it up and practice. Here’s included in the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot’s package.
- Amicus Start control box
- Remote control (if you choose the option)
- Ball recycling/catching net
- Ball collecting net
- Robot and net assembly parts, including the velcro straps and rubber bands for fastening the screws of the net.
- Control panel cables
- Control panel mounting brackets
- Wheel adjustment parts, including the hex wrenches and tubes
- Extension cord
- 24V 3A adapter
- AC cable for adapter
- 120 three-star Butterfly training balls
- Butterfly Amicus robot carrying bag
- Printed/hardcopy of the Butterfly Amicus Start manual in English, German, and French.
Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot Pros and Cons
No wonder Butterfly Amicus Start is a pretty awesome table tennis robot that does all the hard work for you, from returning serves to determining spin. It’s perfect for intermediate and advanced players who want an advantage over their opponents by practicing and perfecting their shots.
But, as you might imagine, it isn’t without its flaws, and that’s exactly what we will discuss today in this Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis review.
- The solid and functional construction of the robot includes the ball collection and catching net.
- The control panel’s user-friendly and simple interface allows you to adjust the parameters easily.
- The height of the ball delivery is adjustable to stimulate realistic serves and lobs.
- Random functions (random scatter, random placement, combo random) allow you to improve technique and footwork.
- The optional remote control allows you to change the robot’s settings on the fly without stopping your play.
- Weighing only 13.2 lbs., the robot is very lightweight and portable.
- The robot is not at all noisy; it operates in silent mode.
- Includes multiple accessories.
- Free 120 three-star Butterfly training balls to start playing from the moment you set it up.
- Includes the Butterfly carrying/storage bag for easy storage and portability.
- It is covered with a full two-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 5-year guarantee of part availability.
- No pre-programmed drills or exercises: Amicus Start comes with pre-programmed drills for random ball placement but has no saved exercises or memory for saving the drills.
- No function for interval training: There is no interval training functionality or function to delay serves or pause in between each service, like the Butterfly Amicus Expert and Butterfly Amicus Prime.
However, you can easily upgrade your Amicus Start to Amicus Prime or Expert with a $699.99 Upgrade Kit with all the amenities you would ever want to experience.
The kit includes an easy-to-install motherboard that lets you enjoy the cycle function, interval training, an android tablet controller to control with Bluetooth, and save drills in the micro SD card.
Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot Price
So, how much does the Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot cost?
Two factors come into play with the price of the table tennis robot: the cost of the Amicus Start robot and the price of the optional wireless remote control. The other best budget ping pong robots are under 500 dollars.
The Butterfly Amicus Start robot is priced at $1,289.99 at Megaspin, and the optional remote control is priced at $49.99.
Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot Where to Buy
Where can you order the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot? The best place to get the Butterfly Amicus table tennis robot is at Megaspin, though you can also find it at Amazon.
In searching for the best prices on the Butterfly Amicus table tennis robot, I always find that Megaspin comes ahead. Best of all, they offer a 14% discount. You get the Megaspin warranty plus support assisting you in dealing with the Butterfly’s warranty, refunding policy, and support for the availability of the parts and maintenance.
Butterfly Amicus Start Robot – Reviews From Users
The Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot is one of the most popular table tennis robots on the market, and for a good reason. Nearly every review of this machine says it is worth the investment. In this section, I’ll outline exactly what makes the Amicus Start robot a great practice partner, with three exclusive reviews from actual product users.
“We have been using the Amicus Start for about six months now. We use it mostly for training purposes. I like it because you can program it to play in different ways, such as using different spins on the ball, playing backspin, topspin, etc. The simple user interface also makes it easier to control. The machine is also relatively quiet compared to other robots that I’ve seen.” Aaron. T.
“I eventually decided to go for the Butterfly Amicus Start Table Tennis Robot because it is one of the most economical robots on the market. It appears to be a very good value for money. I am an international-level coach, and this is a great product to help players of all abilities. It’s also very good fun for the family. I had it set up in just a few minutes. It’s very well made and robust, and I’m sure you will enjoy it for years to come!” Mike. G.
The three-wheel head table tennis robot
“When I first played with the robot, I was immediately very impressed. You can create your custom drills, adjust the ball frequency, and even change the head height to the way you want. One thing is for sure, and that is it’s meant for starters and perfect for youngsters who want to perfect their skills. It has a wide range of spins that you can select from and is very accurate. I will certainly recommend it to my students and the other patrons of the club I teach.” Dan. W.
The Final Thoughts
Many ask if the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot is worth the investment. The answer is yes because it is an all-around table tennis robot bound to improve your table tennis skills.
The Butterfly Amicus Start is a budget-friendly robot that offers excellent value to anyone looking to practice table tennis skills. Hence, it is a great choice if you look for a first robot that will not break the bank and still give you decent spin and speed.
Its design is similar to its pro competitors (Expert and Pro) and has the same size and weight making it capable of hitting balls with very good precision. It is designed to help you practice your backhand, forehand, and serve. You also choose random settings, which challenge you by firing different shots with different spins, even if you have slower or faster table tennis rubbers on your racket.
Another of the best features of the Amicus Start is the control panel’s simple interface that lets you easily adjust the speed, spin, and trajectory of the balls. What’s more, you can also control the robot on the fly with the Butterfly Amicus Start’s remote wirelessly.
In addition, it is covered with a full two years manufacturer’s warranty and 5 years guarantee of the parts availability, plus FREE 120 three-star balls and a sturdy carrying bag!
Butterfly Amicus Start Robot Frequently Asked Questions
Why would you need the Butterfly Amicus Start robot?
The Butterfly Amicus is a table tennis robot that will allow you to improve your strokes and practice your techniques and footwork. The Start from the Butterfly Amicus table tennis robot series is designed for table tennis players of any level, from beginner to pro.
You can program it to have the robot simulate any opponent, which makes this robot an excellent training tool. Also, you can use it to help teach table tennis to younger players. Furthermore, it is also a budget-friendly option among the table tennis robots available on the market.
Imagine you get home from work one day and feel like playing table tennis. Since you have the Butterfly Amicus Start robot, you can fire up the robot and play a game of table tennis as you catch your favorite sitcom.
How much does the Amicus Start robot weigh?
Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot weighs 19.3 lbs with the net and comes with a sturdy carrying bag for easy transportation and storage. This way, you can use it in your backyard for playing on outdoor ping pong tables.
Does the Amicus Start robot produce any loud noise?
The Butterfly is deemed one of the best brands for manufacturing industrial table tennis gears and equipment. The Start robot does not make any noises. It works in silent mode, as no fans are attached to produce noise.
Where is the Butterfly Amicus Start robot manufactured?
Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robots are manufactured in Hungary. However, the power supply and the carrying case are manufactured in China.
What is the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot’s refund policy?
You can return the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot within 30 days if you purchase from Megaspin online store.
What are the spin options for the Amicus Start table tennis robot?
You can set backspin, topspin, left sidespin, right sidespin, top/left spin, top/right spin, back/left spin, back/right spin, or no spin with the Amicus Start table tennis robot.
How many drills and exercises can you program with the Amicus Start robot?
You can set a sequence of 1 to 6 shots that can be programmable to various trajectories.
Is the Butterfly Amicus Start robot battery-powered?
The Amicus Start table tennis robot is a plug-in model. So, you’ll need to connect it to a power source of 100 – 240 V to run it. It delivers more powerful shots than battery-powered alternatives and comes with the required cables and the 24V 3A adopter.
How does the Amicus Start robot stop the ball delivery?
By turning the knob of the controller to the off position, you can stop the ball delivery. Also, by rotating the ball/min frequency to 0, you can stop the ball delivery of the Amicus Start robot. You can also stop the ball delivery by pushing the red stop button of the remote control.
How much does the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot cost?
The price of the Butterfly Amicus Start table tennis robot is $ 1,289.99 at Megaspin.
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