Space agency ISRO has unveiled a robot which will travel to space as part of its unmanned space mission to be launched this year as a prelude to the manned Gaganyaan mission. The half-humanoid robot, named 'Vyom Mitra' or a friend in the sky, is capable of conversing with astronauts, recognising them, and responding to their queries.
"In the run up to the first Human Space Mission by India at ISRO... Vyom Mitra, the humanoid for Gaganyaan unveiled. This prototype of humanoid will go as trial before Gaganyaan goes with astronauts," Union Minister Jitendra Singh informed on Twitter.
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. #ISROpic.twitter.com/pnzklgSfqu— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) January 22, 2020
Vyom Mitra was the centre of attraction at the inaugural session of the "Human Spaceflight and Exploration - Present Challenges and Future Trends" seminar on Wednesday in Bengaluru, news agency PTI reported.
"Hello everyone. I am Vyom Mitra, the prototype of the half-humanoid, been made for the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission," the robot said while introducing itself.
Monitoring module parameters, alerting astronauts and performing life support operations are among many functions it is capable of performing.
ISRO chief K Sivan said Vyom Mitra will simulate human functions.
"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 was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
ISRO will send two unmanned missions before the Ganganyaan mission. It will monitor how the human system will behave in the environment control life support system.
Four Indian Air Force pilots have been shortlisted for the manned mission. They are currently undergoing an 11-month training programme in Russia.
With inputs from PTI