The prosthetic industry is about to experience a significant shift with the development of a thermal sensing system that could restore the entire range of sensations in amputees. Researchers from the Technical University of Lausanne, Scola Supérieure, have successfully trialed this technology and it has shown promising results.
During tasks, amputees can now experience temperature sensations, adding a human touch to their experience. In a successful trial, a participant was able to distinguish between bottles of water at different temperatures, while also improving their ability to differentiate between human and prosthetic arms. The team believes that further work is needed to improve the system, including combining it with other sensations like touch and proprioception.
The researchers are hopeful that their findings will pave the way for significant changes in the commercial prosthetic industry. Their article outlines their findings and although their work is not yet complete, they believe that this technology will soon play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for amputees.