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Panasonic poaches Google robotic expert for smart-home tech

Yoky Matsuoka will set up a team of specialists in Silicon Valley

Yoky Matsuoka served as chief technology officer of smart-home device maker Nest.   © Reuters

OSAKA -- Panasonic will bring a Google vice president and robotics expert into its leadership team Thursday, drawing on her experience in the American technology behemoth's smart home business to enhance its own connected appliances.

Yoky Matsuoka, previously chief technology officer at Nest before the company was folded into Google by parent company Alphabet last year, will serve as a director-level fellow at Panasonic. She will remain based in Silicon Valley, setting up a team of several dozen locals, mostly engineers, to develop software to improve the user-friendliness of Panasonic appliances and other hardware.

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