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Female Icons - Yoky Matsuoka

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I always think that people should be celebrated, especially those flying under the radar.

I recently heard about this amazing woman and I just wanted to share.  Yoky is a Japanese Neurobotics engineer and an absolutely wonderful role model for young women especially.  She has spent her life researching neuroscience and robotics and combining the two to create the most phenomenal prosthetics and especially a prosthetic hand.

Yoky Matsuoka

She played tennis when she was young and was semi-professional until she was forced to retire due to a repeated ankle injury.  She dreamed of creating a robotic tennis opponent for herself right back when she was young and this is something that she carried forward when she moved from Japan to the US when she was 16.  

She has worked on so many projects during her life and is now in the hands of Apple, but she came to my attention with the prosthetic hand she created.  It is an absolute work of art.  It is robotic but modelled bone by bone on the human hand with multiple motors each corresponding to muscles and with strings playing the role of tendons  along each digit.  Her knowledge of the use of a hand in tennis, merged with her knowledge of neuroscience as well as robotics has created something revolutionary.  As Matthew O'Donnell, dean of the U.W. College of Engineering states, she is "a mechanical engineer, neuroscientist, bioengineer, robotics expert and computer scientist, all in one… [with] …the ability to see what is possible by combining all these disciplines." 

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It's a wonderful achievement for a woman to rise so high in so many many dominated fields.  She is an inspiration and I salute you Yoky.

 

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