Isro’s humanoid means more for robotics development than for space exploration

The Financial Express

Robonaut 2 was the first humanoid sent to space by Nasa in 2011. That India will be able to send one of its own within nine years, and 12 years of sending its first module in space, is no less a feat. But, while VyomMitra's-Isro's humanoid-will be sent on Gaganyaan, and will help astronauts with tasks, the real achievement is India's leap in robotics.

India lags far behind China and others in robotics development; with Isro creating a robot, and given its track record of partnering the private sector for sharing of intellectual property generated, this may mean a a big boost for the field in the country. If successful, Isro's VyomMitra experiment could spur large-scale adoption of robots, perhaps even for personal services-humanoids as receptionists can be one example.

While VyomMitra can only do few selected tasks, it is still going to help analyse a lot of data and conduct better research. More important, India may be able to leapfrog past the US in terms of innovations, if it is able to give VyomMitra legs.

America's experiments to provide Robonaut with legs have failed, and the robot has been dysfunctional since. With Tokyo Olympics around the corner and Japan heavily relying on technology for innovation, India making technology commonplace can put it in a different league. Isro's research has certainly helped, Indian electronic/digital majors should now follow.