Max Planck Institute Unveils A Revolutionary Kinetic Energy-Powered Wildlife Tracker

The Max Planck institute introduces the KineFox, a pioneering GPS tracker for wildlife. This device, drawing inspiration from the concept of self-winding watches, is powered by kinetic energy, marking a significant leap in IoT device sustainability.

Harnessing the Energy of Nature

The concept of kinetic energy powering devices dates back to inventions like the self-winding watch, which used a pendulum for power. This principle is now ingeniously applied in KineFox.

Developed by the Max Planck Institute at the University of Copenhagen, KineFox incorporates a micro-generator (Kinetron MSF32) and a lithium-ion capacitor. This combination, along with a custom GPS tracker and a Sigfox low-power transmitter, allows for efficient and continuous animal tracking.

Unlike traditional battery-powered trackers, KineFox does not require frequent battery changes, making it ideal for long-term wildlife monitoring and research. The device’s lightweight design and affordability (priced significantly lower than conventional trackers) make it a game-changer in animal conservation efforts.


  • No battery! Kinefox has a so-called capacitor, which stores the energy that the device harvests through an animal’s movements.
  • Lightweight! Kinefox trackers only weigh 150 grams – significantly less than most other GPS trackers.
  • Wireless! Data from Kinefox is transmitted over Sigfox, a wireless network that is widespread around the world.
  • Cost efficient! Whereas a traditional GPS wildlife tracker typically costs €3,500-4,000, the new transmitter costs around €270 in materials.
  • Open Source! The researchers have opted to use an open source design for Kinefox, making the information available to all.

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