She can talk. She can recognise other humans. She can mimic what they would do in space. She can even hold conversations and answer queries. She is Vyommitra, a spacefaring human-robot developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Vyommitra is a ‘half-humanoid’ that Isro plans to send to space as part of test flights that will be undertaken ahead of the ambitious launch of India’s maiden human spaceflight mission.
Vyommitra, in her own words, can “mimic” the activity of a crew of astronauts and even “recognise them and respond to their queries”. Vyommitra was unveiled by Isro at an event in Bengaluru on Wednesday where she greeted reporters with “Hi, I’m Vyommitra the first prototype of half humanoid.”
According to an Isro scientist, Vyommitra is a half humanoid since she does not have legs. “It’s called a half humanoid because it doesn’t have legs. It can only bend sidewards and forward. It will carry out certain experiments and will always remain in touch with the Isro command centre,” Isro scientist Sam Dayal said.
The space agency plans to send Vyommitra to space later this year when it will launch unmanned flights to space as part of the Gaganyaan project. The Gaganyaan project, announced by PM Narendra Modi in his 2019 Independence Day address, is an ambitious plan of sending Indians to space.