The RemBRAINdt helmet. (CTV News Edmonton)

A University of Alberta program is using a 3D-printed helmet to create art that allows people to see what their thoughts look like.

The RemBRAINdt helmet uses 16 electrodes to measure the electrical potential between different parts of the wearer's head. It creates a visual representation of the data, turning their thoughts into art.

"We're getting a very global sense of brain activity, so we actually utilize machine learning to categorize emotional state and then create different art based on that emotional state," said Eden Redman, NeurAlbertaTech president and RemBRAINdt team lead.

RemBRAINdt started in 2020 as a summer project done remotely by six U of A students.

"Our goal is to give the user some ways to constrain how that art is generated, so we have some predefined ways in which we break down brain activity and we allow the use to associate features of brain activity with art features," said Redman.

The idea has won a number of awards around the globe, including $20,000 in funding after winning first place in a provincial neuro-technology competition.

Post-COVID-19 the student group wants to create a business to offer the RemBRAINdt at events and fundraisers.