- India has unveiled a “female” humanoid robot which it plans to send into space in 2020 as part of an unmanned mission.
- The robot, which doesn’t have any legs, is called ‘Vyommitra’. A prototype of the robot was unveiled Wednesday by the country’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation.
- Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is looking to establish the country as a major player in the space industry.
- But some of India’s space forays have not gone well to date.
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India has unveiled a “female” humanoid robot that it plans to launch into space in 2020.
On Wednesday, the country’s space agency – the Indian Space Research Organisation – showcased a prototype of ‘Vyommitra,’ a humanoid robot it describes as “a woman.“
Vyommitra will reportedly speak two languages and will fly on an unspecified unmanned mission this year.
Though the robot appears to be dexterous, it doesn’t seem to have any legs, raising the question of why it needs a physical form at all.
Vyommitra’s development forms but a small part of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious, ongoing plans to establish India as a space industry player.
You can see a video of Vyommitra via The Times of India:
The ISRO is preparing for the Gaganyaan mission, the country’s first attempt at sending humans into space and Vyommitra is part of the prep.
Not all of India’s attempts to conquer space have gone smoothly.
The ISRO failed in an attempt to place a lunar lander on the moon earlier in January, with the ground crew losing touch of the lander. The mission cost an estimated $145 million – nearly one-tenth of the agency’s meager reported annual budget of $1.8 billion,
Despite Modi’s space-faring ambitions, India’s recent actions in space have come under fire from NASA. India shot down a satellite as part of a missile launch in March 2019, leaving millions of pieces of space debris.
NASA condemned its actions as “a terrible, terrible thing” and claimed it had endangered the lives of astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
For his part, Modi was bullish in the wake of the launch, claiming it proved India was now a “space power.”