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EMG Face Mask

I’ve learned from research that you start with an concept, do a lot of testing, and figure out from those experiments that you should be taking your idea in a completely different angle. In this case, it’s a ridiculously cool new angle.

After starting on my project to use OpenBCI and EMG to identify emotional expressions, I realized that facial EMG could have a lot more uses — to recognize and localize muscle movements/patterns/spasms for medical uses, for locked-in syndrome and ALS patients to communicate or move wheelchairs using their facial muscles, to map out facial expressions so that autistic children may understand them, to recording facial expressions so that one’s avatar in VR may have the same expression as oneself, ad infinitum. This could be super cool.

So why not create a face mask with spaces for electrodes? It would be modeled off of the OpenBCI Ultracortex (, an awesome EEG headset.

So, using the help of Threeform (, I got a 3D scan of my face. It was sort of surreal.

IMG_8229  IMG_8231  IMG_8235

Now, we’re working on 3D-printing this scan as a mask of my face. We’re figuring out which materials will be most comfortable for the face, allowing natural muscle movement, while also not blocking out the face too much. I’m not talking an Iron Man mask here — more like an open, comfortable design that allows for normal movement, and will be great for research, communication, and even, possibly, interrogation. The possibilities are endless.

I’ll keep you all updated! Pictures of the mask are to come.

One Comment


Great idea.
A couple of suggestions. Have a look at face casting and making silicone prosthetics – special effects. They have a lot of info on how to do a life cast of your face and also then how to sculpt soft silicone sections that you can stick to your face using prosthetic adhesive.
Silicone is soft and pliable for facial movements.. but you can also embed more firmer items to hold the electrodes.
I am currently working on the same style of projects myself.

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