Friday, December 12, 2008

Local heroes: Neurobotics expert Matsuoka

Here's a great science mashup: robotics plus neuroscience gives us neurobotics. Expert Dr. Yoky Matsuoka, an Associate Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, aims to make Seattle a hub of Neural Engineering. Matsuoka, a MacArthur Genius Fellow, is up to the task. Over at the Neurobotics Laboratory, they're using robotic models to simulate the biomechanics of human limbs and robotics systems to augment, replace and rehabilitate damaged motor functions. Matsuoka is working to build a fully functional replica of a human hand that can be controlled directly by the brain. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Neuroscience at MIT where she was also a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Sounds fun! Matsuoka gave a recent talk on neurobotics at a Society of Women Engineers meeting. Anyone catch it? If you hear of an upcoming talk on neurobotics, let us know!

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