Drone-ovic hovers around the court with a ball attached to a thin thread which it can throw down at various angles and heights, allowing beginners to refine their serve and add just the right amount of topspin or pace, as well as crushing the occasional ill-struck lob.
The drone has a 4K-resolution camera, which allows coaches and players to review the game and take points for improvement.
To get some tennis court time with Drone-ovic, you have to be a member of Virgin Active’s London outpost, Virgin Active Northwood. An entry-level membership cost £129.95 per month plus an initial £50 signup fee or about $232.93.
“Drone-ovic recreates the ‘serve and smash’ experience with greater accuracy,” says Gary Stewart, Head of Racquet Sports, Virgin Active Northwood. “By dropping tennis balls from high and unexpected angles it keeps members on their toes and improves technique and agility. We think the Drone-ovic is going to be a smash with members and will be a great addition to our coaching team.”
The drone is still in the trial stages, but the idea of using a drone to improve sports performance shows great promise for the future not only for tennis but other sports as well.