Meet Vyommitra! India’s legless ‘female’ robot that will be sent to space speaks two languages, recognizes human faces and answer questions

  • India is gearing up to send its first human mission to space in 2022
  • But it will send the first half-humanoid into space this December 
  • Vyommitra speaks two languages, recognize humans and answer questions

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is taking one giant leap for robot-kind.

The space agency is sending the first half-humanoid along with an unmanned mission into space set for December.

Named Vyommitra, the legless ‘female’ robot speaks two languages, recognizes humans and answers questions like a living person.

The purpose of the spacefaring machine is to conduct experiments before India launches its first manned mission to space in 2022.

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The space agency is sending the first half-humanoid along with an unmanned mission into space set for December

The space agency is sending the first half-humanoid along with an unmanned mission into space set for December

Scientists showed Vyommitra off a media event on Wednesday where she greeted spectators with ‘Hi, I’m Vyommitra the first prototype of half humanoid,’ India Today reported.

‘I can be your companion and converse with the astronauts, recognize them and also respond to their queries,’ it said in a heavy Indian accent.

The robot is designed to mimic the activity of a crew and can even ‘recognize them and respond to their queries.’

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.

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Although an Indian has been to space, the 2022 manned ship will be the first time the country has used its own craft – the previous mission was aboard a Russian ship.

Scientists showed Vyommitra off a media event on Wednesday where she greeted spectators with 'Hi, I'm Vyommitra the first prototype of half humanoid'

Scientists showed Vyommitra off a media event on Wednesday where she greeted spectators with ‘Hi, I’m Vyommitra the first prototype of half humanoid’

ISRO chief K. Sivan said in 2019 during the announcement of the Gaganyaan mission: ”Our space station is going to be very small… useful to carry out experiments.’

‘We are not having a big plan of sending humans on tourism and other things,’ he added.

The mission is said to have two or three astronauts on a maximum seven-day mission.

It will use a 8,200 lb autonomous capsule to orbit the Earth at 250 miles above the Earth with a crew inside. 

The project will start training astronauts later this month and is predicted by the Indian government to cost less than 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion).

Sivan said on Wednesday that four shortlisted astronauts would be sent to Russia for an 11-month training program . 

The legless 'female' robot speaks two languages, recognize humans and answer questions like a living person. The purpose of the spacefaring machine is to conduct experiments before India launches its first manned mission to space in 2022

The legless ‘female’ robot speaks two languages, recognize humans and answer questions like a living person. The purpose of the spacefaring machine is to conduct experiments before India launches its first manned mission to space in 2022

India has made giant strides in its space journey in recent years.

It launched a record 104 satellites in a single mission in 2017, and has also built a reputation for low-cost space exploration and science missions.

In March, the country said it had destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test to prove the nation was among the world’s most advanced space powers.

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The country has also has plans to send a mission to study the Sun in 2020, and to Venus by 2023.

WHAT HAS INDIA’S SPACE AGENCY DONE TO REACH THE MOON?

Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar orbiter, launched in 2008.  

The £49 million ($69 million) mission was launched amid national euphoria, putting India in the Asian space race alongside rival China and reinforcing its claim to be considered a global power.

A vehicle landed on the moon a month later and sent back images of the lunar surface.

In 2009 India terminated the mission a year earlier than planned, after scientists lost all contact with their unmanned orbiting spacecraft. 

Chandrayaan-1 (pictured) was India's first lunar orbiter, launched in 2008. The £49 million ($69 million) mission was launched amid national euphoria

Chandrayaan-1 (pictured) was India’s first lunar orbiter, launched in 2008. The £49 million ($69 million) mission was launched amid national euphoria

A crucial sensor in the main craft malfunctioned in July experts believe.

The satellite is believed to have crashed into the moon’s surface.

‘Our efforts to establish contact have failed. The mission has been terminated,’ said S Satish, from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at the time.

‘There was no point continuing with the mission.’  

Named Chandrayaan-2, the vehicle will take between one and two months to reach orbit and once the rover reaches the surface it will explore the area around the south pole.

It is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) second lunar probe. 

Weighing nearly 3,300kg (7,300lbs), the spacecraft will take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, off India’s southwest coast. 

It is now set for launch in January 2019.  

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