A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed the special table, which is made of wood-based electronic nanogenerators that act as sensors to detect if the ball hits in or out.
Lead author on the paper, Zhong Lin Wang, said: "Real-time data acquisition relies on widely distributed sensors, which are generally powered by conventional energy storage devices, such as batteries. Considering their limited lifetime, high replacement or recharging costs, and environmental issues, it is highly desirable to develop a sustainable and maintenance-free sensing technology."
The clever device will also map the route the ball has taken as well as measure the velocity of the hit.
Dr Lin Wang added: "In the new era of internet of things, big data collection and analysis based on widely distributed intelligent sensing technology is particularly important. The system is based on a simple and effective strategy, natural wood can be converted into a high-performance triboelectric material. This material has excellent mechanical properties, such as 7.5-fold enhancement in strength, superior flexibility, wear resistance and processability. The electrical output performance is also enhanced by more than 70 per cent compared with natural wood."