Growing up in Japan, Yoky Matsuoka was on her way to becoming a world-class tennis player. When injuries ended her tennis dreams, she turned to another early interest: robotics. Twenty years later Matsuoka is now a leader in the emerging field of neurobotics, hard at work creating robot technology that can help disabled persons.
“RODNEY BROOKS: Yoky used to always surprise me, because she would go into a field [an area of robotics] where she knew nothing, really, and within three or four weeks, she’d be knowing everything about it and making contributions there. “
“YOKY MATSUOKA: I am the first generation who is openly having this dual life and saying, “You know what? I’m not going to wait ’til tenure. I’m going to start having my kids.” And it’s really exciting, but it’s really, really hard. “
“I really wanted to be somebody who sticks out, be different, have an attitude. If people say, “Hey, you have an attitude,” I think, to me, that’s a compliment.”