IIT Madras to develop astronaut training module for Indian space flight programmes

ISRO signs an agreement with IITM and will be utilising technologies developed by IITM's eXperiential technology innovation centre to promote research in XR.

IIT Madras to develop astronaut training module for Indian space flight programmes IIT Madras, ISRO agreement signing. (Picture: Press Release)
Ishita Ranganath | Feb 6, 2023 - 1:39 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) will be developing a training module using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) for Indian space flight programmes. IITM and ISRO sign an agreement for collaboration on extended reality (XR) and other technologies in the Indian human space flight programme.

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be utlising technologies by IITM's newly-established eXperiential technology innovation centre (XTIC) to promote research in XR. The centre will develop mentioned XR technologies and also be training human space flight centre (HSFC) engineers and help in establishing a XR, VR laboratory at HSFC.

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The collaboration aims to conduct modelling and simulation of human physiology as well as space systems, out reach activities, visualisation and optimisation of design architecture, and train ISRO scientists in developing their own XR systems.

The centre focuses on the fundamentals of XR's human factors such as perception and illusion. XTIC is India's first research and product innovation centre for XR and haptics technology that covers several fields of engineering, medicine, psychology and arts.

IIT Madras' XTIC established 'CAVE', a group of start-ups and industries in haptics and XR in India. This ecosystem, led by XTIC will be used for applications such as outreach and education of the Indian human space flight programme and digital twins.

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Elaborating on the key aspects of this collaboration between ISRO and IIT Madras, IITM-XTIC, principal investigator, M Manivannan said: “XR Technologies has the potential to add value in many aspects of human spaceflight program specifically in shortening the design cycle and simulating the space environment. We will start with developing models of physiological systems as well as design optimization studies. IIT Madras ecosystem is conducive not-only for research, but also for development with our industrial consortium.”

Looking forward to this collaboration, ISRO, HSFC, director, Umamaheswaran R, said: “Space program always had linkages with academia and IIT Madras has a long history of contributing for ISRO’s program including human spaceflight program. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with IIT-Madras.”

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