ISRO to send robot 'Vyommitra' to space on unmanned Gaganyaan
Before orbiting astronauts on India's first manned mission to space in December 2021, the Indian Space Research Organisation will send 'Vyommitra', a 'lady robot' in the unmanned Gaganyaan spacecraft.
The robot was the centre of attraction at the inaugural session of Human Spaceflight and Exploration - Present Challenges and Future Trends here on Wednesday.
Vyommitra, a combination of two Sanskrit words Vyoma (space) and Mitra (friend), took everyone by surprise when she introduced herself to the audience gathered there.
"Hello everyone. I am Vyommitra, the prototype of the half-humanoid, been made for the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission," the robot said. Explaining about the role in the mission, she said, "I can monitor through module parameters, alert you and perform life support operations. I can perform activities like switch panel operations..."
The robot said she can also be a companion and converse with the astronauts, recognise them and can also respond to their queries.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan told reporters the half humanoid will simulate human functions in space and also interact with the environment control life support system.
"It will be simulating exactly the human functions there (in space). It will check whether the system is right.
This will be very useful to simulate, as if a human is flying," he added.
Earlier, addressing the inaugural function, Sivan said ahead of the launch of India's maiden human spaceflight venture 'Gaganyaan' in December 2021, ISRO will undertake two unmanned missions in December 2020 and June 2021 and Vyommitra will fly in them.
"We are on schedule (regarding Gaganyaan). We are going to do lots of demonstration tests this year. This year end we will send our unmanned mission and the half-humanoid you have seen today is going to fly in it," he said.
The humanoid, which Sivan said was functioning well, has the human simulation system.
The ISRO will monitor how the human system will behave in the environment control life support system.
"The humanoid project has almost been completed," Sivan added.
Union Minister of State for Department of Space and Atomic Energy Dr Jitendra Singh too shared a video of the humanoid on Wednesday on Twitter and wrote, "In the run up to the first Human Space Mission by India at ISRO...'Vyommitra', the humanoid for #Gaganyaan unveiled. This prototype of humanoid will go as trial before Gaganyaan goes with astronauts."