DrinkWire is Liquor.com’s showcase for the best articles, recipes and reviews from the web’s top writers and bloggers. In this post, Good Spirits News offers a review of a robotic beer pong product.
Pongbot is a challenging new twist on everyone’s favorite drinking game, Beer Pong.
Pongbot is a robotic cup holder that creates a moving target. Instead of tossing a ping-pong ball at a group of stationary cups, Pongbot spins, darts, and randomly changes direction. This makes beer pong more a lot more challenging!
Pongbot re-defines the game with moving cups, and LED under-lighting adds a high-tech look. Players can shoot at a single cup or add a five-cup caddie. Pongbot features edge-sensing technology to keep the bot from falling over the edge of the table. There are two modes for play – in Auto-mode, the Pongbot will move and spin randomly in any direction at any time, so that the shooter never knows where it is going. In Manual mode, your opponent controls the motion with a tank-style handheld remote control. So it’s you against the machine or against your friend.
We set this up in the GSN break room recently and had to scramble to locate a ping-pong ball (not included), five Solo cups (not included) and six AA batteries (not included). A bit disappointing that these weren’t already in the box.
A few games of water pong ensued (after all we have to keep clear heads when reviewing). The Pongbot itself works fairly well when using the auto-mode, as there was no discernible pattern to the movement. The manual mode worked less well, as the sensors would sometimes be on the wrong side of the machine and it would stop moving altogether.
There were two other negatives. It is fairly noisy with a constant whining motor noise that unless people are loudly cheering or you have music blasting, becomes grating after ten minutes. The other problem is that the unit fell off of the table at one point, we think due to the fact that our break room table has beveled edges. It will probably work fine on a straight edge table (which ironically means no drinking).
Overall, it was fun for about a quarter of an hour, but the original beer pong is cheaper, easier and less frustrating overall.
GSN Rating: C-