Engineer and researcher designs robotic prosthethics at Mountlake Terrace-based Orthocare Innovations.
What do you do? I am a prosthetics engineer and researcher at Orthocare Innovations [in Mountlake Terrace], specifically focused on robotic prosthetics and assistive devices.
How did you get started in that career? I began working in robotics straight out of college as a researcher at iRobot Corporation. There, I performed research for DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency], designing and building hands and arms for robots — now I get to design them for people.
What’s a typical day like? A typical day is dynamic. I might be assembling a device in the lab, performing tests, designing and fabricating parts, or brainstorming with colleagues. In prosthetics, it’s very important to document the design process, so there is time devoted to keeping good records as well.
What’s the best part of the job? The best thing about prosthetic design is knowing my work is going to enable someone to live a better, healthier life. Building a prosthetic device and watching someone walk away on it the same day can be quite moving.
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What surprises people about the job? People are surprised to learn there are robotic prosthetics in the market. Most people are familiar with the carbon fiber running blades athletes use, but don’t realize there are innovative solutions for everyday life too.