Robotics is the way of the future, and women are leading the way for some of the most helpful technologies! For young girls, strong role models are key! From Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to women involved in robotics today, this list of female leaders is sure to inspire kids to consider robotics as a future career.
The World’s First Programmer – Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace lived in the early 1800’s and saw something others didn’t see: that machines could be involved in complex computing. She published the very first algorithm for a machine.
Programming Pioneer – Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist who lead the way in computer programming in the 20th century. Hopper and her team also invented the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), which is still widely used today.
Robotics Pioneer – Ruzena Bajcsy
For 40 years, Professor Ruzena Bajscy has been leading robotics research. Now in her mid-80’s, she also continues to teach at the University of California, Berkeley. Her area of research is the communication between machines and people.
Can Robots Improve Life? – Dr. Maja Matarić
Dr. Maja Matarić directs the Interaction Lab at the University of Southern California. Her vision is to improve quality of life for people with special needs with affordable human-centered technologies since their medical expenses can be very high.
Human-Centred Robots – Ayanna Howard
Ayanna Howard is the most senior African-American female roboticists involved in higher education in the United States. Her work over the past two decades has focused on helping artificial intelligence interact with a human-centered world.
Social Robots – Cynthia Breazeal
If robots can perform in the deepest parts of the ocean, why can’t they contribute at home? That question has driven Cynthia Breazeal to pioneer ‘social robotics’ that interact with humans. She helped create the world’s first social robot, Kismet, and founded Jibo, the world’s first family robot. She also directs the Personal Robots Group at MIT’s Media Lab.
Robotics for the World – Ayorkor Korsah
Ayorkor Korsah grew up in Ghana and studied in the United States gaining her Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Now back in Ghana, she is a professor of computer science and robotics at Ashesi University. In 2012, she co-founded the African Robotics Network, a community that shares robotics resources.
Robots in Space – Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen
Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen is an engineer who develops and improves robots for missions in space. She was part of the team that developed Valkyrie, NASA’s first two-legged robot. Hambuchen supports the international space community by improving robots in space.
Robots for Good – Marita Cheng
Marita Cheng is from Australia, and even at the age of 29 her work in robotics is amazing. Her start-up robotics company helps make things easier for people with diverse abilities and long-term illnesses. She has really helped out the medical field greatly.
Robots for Everyone – Kaijen Hsiao
Kaijen Hsiao is a roboticist who wants to bring robots to the masses. Most of all she develops robots that serve the agricultural sector and people with disabilities.
Which of these women leaders inspires you most?
Also, Check out what robots can do these days!