Yoky Matsuoka - An excerpt from The Japanese Part of Me
January 24, 2021
. It's the term Yoky Matsuoka created by combining neuroscience and robotics in the late '90s. She kick-started the development of robots that can read human brain signals.
Yoky was born in Japan and moved to California with her family when she was 16 years old. She trained and competed to become a professional tennis player. Despite her passion, she kept getting injured and decided to choose another path outside of tennis when she was in college.
Yoky chose to build robots, first approaching it from an engineering and computer science perspective. Then, she integrated the neuroscience perspective to create robots that could learn to interpret human brain signals. In 2007, Yoky received a MacArthur grant for "devising complex prosthetic devices and rehabilitation strategies that hold life-changing potential for those suï¬€ering from brain injuries and manipulation disabilities."
Two track mind
, another term coined by Yoky, is a practice of fully committing to two things every day - for example, family and work. She wakes up and starts working at 3 a.m. until the early afternoon, and then she spends time with her husband and four children for the rest of the day.
After 10 years as a researcher and professor, Yoky co-founded Google's research and development unit (Google X) in 2009, joined Nest as Chief Technology Officer in 2010, and joined the HP Board of Directors in 2019.
"40 is so young. Actually my dad is 82 and he is starting a new company. I think it's never too late. If your brain is excited to learn new things, go for it. I think that's why it's so worth living in so many ways that we should just continue to learn." - Yoky Matsuoka
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
Become a WITI Member!
Are you interested in boosting your career, personal development, networking, and giving back? If so, WITI is the place for you! Become a WITI Member and receive exclusive access to attend our WITI members-only events, webinars, online coaching circles, find mentorship opportunities (become a mentor; find a mentor), and more!
Become a Member
Member Coaching Circles
There are no WITI online coaching circles scheduled at this time. Please check back soon for updates.
More Coaching Circles
Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.
The organization delivers leading edge programs and platforms for individuals and companies -- designed to empower professionals, boost competitiveness and cultivate partnerships, globally. WITIâ€™s ecosystem includes more than a million professionals, 60 networks and 300 partners, worldwide.
Inspire Future Generations.
Build Inclusive Cultures.
As Part of That Mission WITI Is Committed to
Building Your Network.
Building Your Brand.
Advancing Your Career.