This site covers Hidden Valley Plantations automation projects. It mostly relates to macadamia nuts but there are other things as well.

I have been particularly interested in Precision Agriculture, High Level Automation and Robotics as applied to horticulture for more than a decade now. I have several projects in this area that are coming into fruition at the moment so I decided to collect information about their progress here. I may also do some more general interest things, such as tech notes as they turn up.

This page will probably be most interesting to people in the macadamia industry but I believe that some of these technologies will apply to other crops and industries. So I've tried to write posts such that a more general audience can follow them without spending an age googling stuff.

Yes, I am aware the look of this page is a bit ... retro ... but there it is. Until I fix it up, enjoy.

David Bell


If you would like to keep up to date with these projects just email me and I'll send you a note whenever this site is updated.

Recent Updates

Drone Mapping Image

May 2019 - Drone Mapping video

Shows mapping software creating a map on a drive through of an orchard block.

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NIS Sorter

March 2018 - NIS Sorter Initial Accuracy Testing

Initial repeatability test results.

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August 2017 - Smart Enough Podcast

I had a chat with the boys at the Smart Enough to Know Better podcast, talking about robots and such. The podcast is an enjoyable take on a diverse range of things science-y.

You can find it here: smartenough.org

NIS Sorter

May 2017 - Nut in Shell (NIS) Sorter/Scanner is Up!

This is a low volume high accuracy sorter that can also do high resolution quality scans on NIS samples.

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Drone Video

September 2016 - Two New Drone Harvester Videos

We are continuing to harvest our main crop with the drone. It took until early August to get various design faults fixed but it's now working very well.

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Drone Video

April 2016 - Drone Plot Harvester, First Field Trial Video

It's still in early stages but this is the first video of a working drone harvester for macadamia. It is one of the few operational harvest drones in the world, for any crop.

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April 2016 - In-Field Dehusker, First Field Trial Video

This works in tandem with the drone plot harvester allowing collection of individual tree nut-in-shell (NIS) yields with efficiency approaching a larger bulk harvester.

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Geo Yield Map

February 2016 - Geo-referenced Yield Map for Macadamia

This Google Earth compatible map plots yield vs canopy volume on a tree by tree basis over an area of ~2000 trees. It demonstrates the value of tree by tree resolution when applying Precision Agriculture techniques to tree crops.

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 Thank you for visiting this web site. I hope you enjoy our products & services, and that you return soon.

David Bell.

Copyright 2016 David Bell, Australia. All Rights Reserved.
No parts of this web site may be copied without the permission of the author.