Former table tennis champion Timo Boll has played and beaten a one-armed Kuka robot said to be the fastest robot on earth.

In a newly released viral video, Boll makes a dazzling comeback from 6-0 down against the machine, which was built by German-based Kuka Robotics Co.

The film was produced as part of the launch of the firm's new plant in Shanghai. Robot use is growing in China where Boll is a huge star.

Boll, who was appointed "ambassador" of Kuka, said: "Wherever I go, people talk to me [about the video]."

The former No 1, voted German sportsman of the year several times, added: "The campaign is more than just fun; it promotes the sport of table tennis worldwide."

The video sees the robot firmly in the lead until Boll fights back and win 11-9 after he has studied the automaton's technique and can see its failings at the game such as an inability to cope with net calls.

The KR Agilus robot goes under the name KR 6 R900 SIXX. Its normal function when not playing pingpong is to pick and pack products in factories, saving companies the cost of having manual labourers on the job.