NYU Abu Dhabi Undergraduates Propose a Protocol for 5G Internet

The team pictured at NYUAD’s KINESIS Core Technologies Platforms Lab, managed by Nikolaos Giakoumidis (center right).

Ken Iiyoshi, Ruth Gebremedhin, and Mahrukh Tauseef are good friends at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Interested in robot-assisted surgery, they formed an electrical and computer engineering capstone project team under Professor Mohamad Eid’s mentorship. Professor Eid specializes in haptics — developing devices that detects and produces human touch. Ruth and Ken were inspired by Professor Eid’s work during their internship at his Applied Interactive Multimedia Lab in the summer of 2018. They were intrigued by how his research enables robots to perform delicate surgical procedures that have traditionally been difficult to achieve. Through their discussion with him, they decided to work on developing a communication system that can remotely control such devices.


Conducting literature reviews during their third year motivated them to start implementing their research in the summer of 2019. The entire team secured another fully funded internship at his lab. Professor Eid proposed the team develop a real-time communication protocol that allows the exchange of haptic-audio-visual data with minimal delay. This communication will follow an audio-visual and haptic handshake that will share information between two different environments (local and remote) and enable the exchange of audio-visual and haptic data depending on the configurations of all the devices in the local and remote environments. For instance, real-time communication between a Novint Falcon and a KUKA Robotic Arm (pictured below) along with audio-visual feedback can be implemented over a network.


After a few weeks into the summer research, impressed with their progress, Professor Eid suggested they turn their work into a research publication. The haptics academic community, at that time, was working on standardizing 5G haptic communication, and the team’s work was directly relevant to it. Using draft protocols that Professor Eid already made for the community, the team spent the remainder of their summer implementing this. Professor Eid referred them to his collaborator, Professor Vineet Gokhale from TUM, to publish the paper. As a result, the IEEE International Symposium on Haptic-Audio Visual Environments and Games (HAVE 2019) accepted the team’s paper, and invited them to attend their conference in Malaysia during their fourth academic year. The paper is still in press.


The team, currently in its fourth year, is continuously improving their communication system, especially in demonstrating their system under a medical application. Professor Eid has been collaborating with NYU’s College of Dentistry over the years to develop touch-audio-visual-based dental training simulation. By verifying the performance of their communication system through an actual application, the team hopes to accelerate the haptic academic community’s effort in standardizing haptic communication protocols.



About NYU Abu Dhabi (

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.



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