Data Acquisition - File Formats

Motion Lab Systems believes that the end user should always have complete access to the data that they collect. We support a number of different file formats and provide complete file descriptions so that the complete contents of the files are accessible at all times.

We recommend the C3D file format for compatibility with most major motion capture systems.

The standard data acquisition solution supported by Motion Lab Systems is the MA-720 data collection device. The MA-720 can record up to 32 channels of analog data with a total data throughput of 200kHz at a resolution of 16-bits per sample - more than adequate for almost all EMG recording situations.

The MA-720 data collection system offers many useful features such as data over-sampling, channel labeling, time and date stamping and programmable gain that make it a perfect solution for almost all EMG data collection needs. Motion Lab Systems provides extensive support for several file formats used to store the raw and processed EMG data and is committed to enabling all users direct access to their data for additional analysis and processing.

MATLAB access

Both the native .WDQ files and the .C3D files produced by our software can be opened directly in MATLAB using MATLAB drivers. Information for accessing the .WDQ files using the ReadDataqFile.m and readdataq.m drivers can be found at the Dataq web site while the free Motion Lab Systems C3Dserver can be used to read and write the .C3D files directly from within MATLAB.

.WDQ files

The Dataq system uses a binary format that stores raw data samples and channel information in real time on any Windows computer in .WDQ file using the WINDAQ/PRO software. This format can be converted to several other ASCII text formats using software supplied with the MA-720 system. The EMG Analysis and EMG Graphing software applications from Motion Lab Systems both open .WDQ files and convert them to .C3D files for storage, analysis and exchange with other systems.

.C3D files

The C3D file format is a common file format in the biomechanics and gait analysis world and is used to store synchronized 3D trajectory and/or analog data allowing complex motion to be analyzed together with force and electromyography information. All Motion Labs software applications read and write .C3D files created by other manufacturers and fully support the .C3D format. In addition, the Motion Lab Systems C3Dserver application allows users to write Visual Basic macros that can run in other applications (e.g. Word, Excel, Access etc.) to allow programs to read, modify, and write the raw EMG data for almost any other requirement.

ASCII files

Many software applications prefer to access data in plain ASCII text format. Both .WDQ and .C3D files can be converted to various ASCII text formats, enabling the raw EMG data to be easily accessed by programs such as MATLAB, Statistica, and SAS to mention only a few. Both the native .WDQ format and the biomechanics standard .C3D file format can be easily exported to various ASCII formats using the Motion Lab Systems RData application.

WDQ Referance files

The MA720 data collection system can be programmed to load any one of a number of different referance files on startup so that the data collection system can be instantly configured to any one of a number of predetermined configurations. Sample configuration file for our systems can be downlaoded from the following links: