The Technical University of Lausanne, Scola Supérieure team of researchers have developed a thermal sensing system that has the potential to restore the entire range of sensations in amputees. This technology allows amputees to experience temperature sensations during tasks, adding a human touch to their experience.
In a successful trial, the thermal sensing system allowed a participant to distinguish between bottles of water at different temperatures and also improved the participant’s ability to differentiate between human and prosthetic arms. Further work is being carried out to improve the system, including combining it with other sensations like touch and proprioception.
The researchers believe that their technology will soon play a significant role in the commercial prosthetic industry, as it offers amputees a more natural and immersive experience. Their findings are detailed in an article they have written, although further work is still required before the technology can be widely available.