LAKELAND, Fla. - It is definitely a one-of-a-kind gift. A Florida Polytechnic University student has invented a robotic ping-pong ball pitcher to give to his younger brother for Christmas.
When Joseph Patullo took off for college, he left his long-time ping-pong partner, Paul, at home in Hollywood. Paul was a bit miffed.
“He was like, 'Dude! I have no one to play against,'” Joseph recounted to FOX 13. "'You have all your friends up there,’ and that kind of triggered it for me."
So Joseph went out and bought his brother an automatic, very basic ping pong ball pitcher for about $30.
“Brought it home and he said, ‘This is kind of pathetic,’ and I was like 'Yeah,'” explained Joseph.
Joseph, who is the head of the robotic club at Florida Poly, vowed to come up with a better mousetrap and says he has.
“It is 10 times better,” said Joseph.
He named his invention “Kazooie” after one of his favorite video games.
Kazooie has three levels, beginner to advanced. As the level increases, so do the speed of the balls, the number of balls it spits out in a given time, and the velocity of the balls.
Their dad has suggested that Joseph market the device.
Joseph said he's open to it, but for now, he is just happy that he has learned a lot during the process, and that his brother now can keep up his skills even when Joseph is hundreds of miles away.