Indian Institute of Technology Madras is creating an astronaut training program to be used in India's spaceflight projects.

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IITM and ISRO have come to a mutual agreement for the collaboration of augmented, virtual, mixed and extended reality technology in India’s space flight programmes. IITM will be creating an educational module using these technologies for the human space flight programme.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is making use of the technologies created by the recently established eXperiential technology innovation centre (XTIC) at IITM to encourage research in XR. The centre will create the aforementioned XR technologies and also provide training to engineers of the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), as well as assist in the building of a XR, VR laboratory at the HSFC.

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.

The joint venture is designed to carry out modelling and simulations of human physiology in addition to space systems, outreach programs, visualizing and improving design structures, and providing ISRO scientists with the ability to create XR systems. XTIC, India’s first research and product development centre for XR and haptic technology, concentrates on the essential human aspects of XR such as perception and illusion.

M Manivannan, the principal investigator of IITM-XTIC, explained the essential features of this partnership between ISRO and IIT Madras: “XR Technologies can be advantageous for several aspects of human spaceflight, in particular with regards to expediting the design process and replicating the space environment. We will initiate with creating models of physical systems and design optimization tests. IIT Madras has a beneficial environment not only for research, but also for production with our industrial network.”

ISRO and HSFC director, Umamaheswaran R, expressed anticipation for the collaboration with IIT Madras, noting the longstanding relationship between the academic institution and ISRO’s space program, including its human spaceflight program. He expressed pleasure at the opportunity to collaborate with IIT Madras.

Mayank Tewari


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