During the strict coronavirus restrictions in 2020, Toni Ulčar, a mechanical engineer and tennis enthusiast, found inspiration in the empty tennis courts. With socializing and playing with others off-limits, Toni sought a way to help tennis players improve their game, even when they couldn’t practice with a human partner.
Toni’s initial attempt to find a playing companion involved using a classic tennis ball launchers, but he quickly realized that it lacked the excitement and dynamic nature of a real opponent. Driven by his passion for tennis and his determination to help players progress, Toni embarked on a mission to create a more realistic and engaging tennis partner.
From his home, he designed and built the first working prototype of a mobile tennis ball machine, which he called Sportbot. This innovative machine was able to move around the court and launch balls at various speeds, heights, and spins, simulating a real tennis player. With a mobile app, players could easily program Sportbot, allowing them to practice and improve their skills without needing a human partner.
Toni’s vision for Sportbot was born out of the unique challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, and his commitment to helping tennis players improve their game and helping coaches improve their practices.
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