Normally a shuttle machine can shoot at every position on the court. Sometimes the 1 position should be set at one of some predefined positions, sometimes a button should be pressed to let the machine move to a location and press again at the preferred position, the easiest is when it will be set with arrow buttons and a number for the horizontal and vertical position (height).
The shuttle machine can shoot random between 2 horizontal positions at 1 depth for letting 1 player move left/right and simulate some kind of matchplay. This is a feature for 1 player at the court and automatically train more the left/right footwork and preparation for different strokes. This is also more fun after training lots of 1 fixed position balls.
Vertical variation shoots between 2 positions at different depths. It is used to train the forward / backward footwork and to train short / deep shuttles.
The 2-line (horizontal) function shoots shuttles left and right again and again but always at fixed positions so you know exactly where the shuttle will be shot. This feature is mostly used for shooting at 2 (groups of) players and makes training of groups much more efficient. When one group player hit the shuttle, the machine already moves to the other group and in the first group the next player is still preparing for the next shot. The 2-line is often in 3 distances between the 2 positions: narrow, middle and wide. Narrow can be used for 1 player hitting forehand, backhand, forehand etc.
The 3-line function will shoots shuttles on 3 fixed horizontal positions (left - middle - right - middle- left......) and is a good training for 1 player on the court. It is more intensive than 1 fixed position training and easier than random horizontal training. The player should move between each shot but knows where the next one will be shot. The 3-line is not useful for more than 1 player because the middle position gets more shuttles than the outside positions.
The random function shoots shuttles everywhere (random) at the court so it simulates a matchplay. Often the random function is just a combination of horizontal and vertical variation so there is still some prediction. Sometimes the random function is real random so you can't predict the next shuttle, this is real fun.
Some machines have inbuilt trainings. Even though this could be nice, you often like to have the training just a little different. Some inbuilt trainings could be for 2 (horizontal/vertical/cross) positions, so you can train your footwork for it. Preferable is to make your own trainings, which is possible with "programming".
When you can easily create your own programs, there is no need for inbuilt trainings anymore. When programming your own trainings, it should be easy to create. Especially for (group) trainings, programming is a nice feature. But when there are 8 children at the badminton court screaming for the trainer, you have hardly time to create a program and sure no time to first read the manual.
The shuttle machine should be controlled with a remote control because of the shooting height, which is above the human height. Sometimes, the foot has a holder for the remote control so that you can easily drop the remote control and don't loose it. Because the shooting speed can't easily slow down or speed up between 2 shuttles, 1 machine can't change speeds in between 2 shuttles and should have more than 1 machine connected together where every machine shoot with different speed and position to create a drop and a clear shuttle. These machines could be controlled with a special tablet.
The power of a shuttle machine is often a 110/220V power supply or a battery. Badminton is normally inside, so almost always there is a power net (220V) available. When using a power supply, the machine could work continuously.
The shuttle holder holds the shuttles for shooting, the number of shuttles depends on the use of the machine. When the machine only has one tube, for holding the shuttles, the frequency could be very fast (1 shuttle/sec). For professional badminton players, this could be interesting. For clubs and training it is much more important to have many tubes to feed 100-200 shuttles / training session. Also it could be interesting to have an extra shuttle holder so some players already could fill the other shuttle holder while some others are training.
The shooting system exists mostly of 2 shooting wheels aside from each other. When you don't want to easily predict the location of the shuttles, the shooting system should move left/right fast or inside a box. If the whole machine turns left/right, the player already walks to the side where the machine is moving to. The wheels should have grip on the shuttles to shoot these.
The foot of a shuttle machine is important because the shooting height of the machine and the shooting angle depends on the foot. The foot height could be set manually or electrically. When the machine is light, manually is okay but the height is limited to about 2.5 meters. Electric feet could be set higher (about 3.5 meters). The bottom of the foot, could be fixed or with wheels. Normally, the machine and foot could be separated easily for transportation and storage.
For safety, it's important that the players don't stand before the machine and the machine not suddenly shoot shuttles. When start shooting, some machines have a delay of a few seconds before it really start shooting.
When the player can see which direction the next shuttle will be shot, the effectiveness of the training is degraded very much. In older style machines the whole machine is moving left/right which easily could be seen by the players so they already move to the next position before the ball will be shot. Newer style machines have the shooting system inside or moves very fast left/right. The direction of the next ball couldn't be seen by the player.
Even though customers never ask for this part of a shuttle machine, it is the most important part. A shuttle machine is, like a car, a product that sometimes need service. For cars, there are many garages but for shuttle machines, most sellers don't know anything of the machine. So, even a small problem (most problems are small), will result in not using the machine anymore. The Racketclub has almost all parts of the machines on stock and lots of knowledge and experience of their machines. We also provide information and documents on our website for repairing simple problems (most problems are simple) by customers themselves.