Developed by Americans and Chinese, this smart and self-sufficient table tennis table could revolutionize the arbitration in this high-flying sport.
Scientists have published the results of their studies in the highly regarded journal Nature. In their report, they explain, among other things, how they made the object and how the object is powered by electricity.
The smart table helps the ping pong referees
You may have seen a game of table tennis in a tournament on TV, as in the Olympics. If that's the case, then you know the fast-paced pace of players and referees.
And in a game where a few millimeters can make the difference, the sensors have already conquered the professional sphere. These allow for example to know if a ball has touched the top or the edge of the table. Like tennis, the discipline is therefore more and more smart health connected.
However, the technologies used so far use unecological batteries and have a limited life.
We understand the value of this self-sufficient smart table. To do this, the researchers have found a way to equip their surface with triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG). These transform the mechanical energy created by the impact of a bullet in electricity to feed the TENG.
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Known technology, innovative use
Nanogenerators are not new. However, the way scientists have inserted them into their smart ping pong table is simply ingenious. So, while these components are usually made of synthetic plastics, our researchers have this time opted for wood. In this way, they are biodegradable. Placed in a thin layer just below the surface, they capture the energy of each rebound.
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Apart from generating its own electricity, the table also collects data and can display them in real time, including the location of the ball's impact and speed. In addition, it can trace the trajectory of a ball during a clash, allowing a thorough analysis of the game. Therefore, the team of researchers think their smart table will not only help referees, but also players ping pong and their coaches.
(Embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1XhS217ZU (/ embed)
Source: https://techxplore.com/news/2019-11-smart-self-powered-ping-pong-table.html – Credit: Photos: Luo et al