Mondo Spider

This vehicle is aptly named the Mondo Spider. It’s not from some apocalyptic movie, but seen here at Burning Man. Like a lot of Burning Man exhibitions, it was built for the joy of the build and with a rather extreme budget: $15,000. We’ve embedded one of the many videos after the break, as well as a few of the hardware details.

Weighing in at about 1600 pounds this eight-legged horror is much more massive than the rideable hexapod we saw a while ago. A Honda 24 horse power V-Twin engine provides the power needed to run the hydraulic legs. It’s designed to turn on a dime, but as you can see in the video, traction can be a bit of a problem. For night-time operation the legs have been outlined in glowing read, as if this wasn’t already frightening enough to terrify the weak-at-heart.

Editorial Note: There was so much work and time put into this project by a lot of different people. We searched around for a picture of the entire team with this bad boy but couldn’t find one. If you’re working on an insane team build, don’t forget to take a group picture that will let you relive the fun times. That’s what the Copenhagen Suborbitals did.

[Thanks László Monda]

[Thanks also to Danny Mal who shared the link back in 2008]


  1. mrgoogfan says:

    I really wish i could go to burningman.

  2. djrussell says:

    hitch a ride on your killer robot! :)

  3. kyle says:

    I know it’s heavy but with a 15 grand budget they couldn’t make it just a _little_ smoother? seems like some dampeners on each leg would go a long ways and a redesign of the actuall activators would solve everything.

  4. NatureTM says:

    Yeah it looked like it was mostly smooth but occasionally you see his head really jerk! Maybe it’s a “feature” to keep the driver awake/conscious — it *is* burning man after all!

  5. supershwa says:

    Heh, of course it was at burning man…so much preparation, craziness, nekkidness, drugs, alcohol and sleep deprivation. Good times.

  6. Mike Szczys says:

    I was just watching the video again and this related clip came up. It’s a much better example of the mobility of this creation:

  7. A says:

    Saw it on the playa last year…it’s a pretty surprising thing to have a dust storm die down and all of a sudden that thing is coming at you.

  8. Nonya-Biz says:

    wouldn’t it be an octopod?

  9. Mr. Twister says:

    I would like to attend Burning Man but if I see one guy in a blue speedo I’m leaving.

  10. steveorama says:

    “…in glowing read”
    it should be spelled red

    sorry, it just screamed out at me :P

  11. DRoseDARs says:

    Mr. Twister, you’ll have no problem then. No one wears clothes at Burning Man. Dust and mud are the coverings of choice.

  12. lummox says:

    Re: I know it’s heavy but with a 15 grand budget they couldn’t make it just a _little_ smoother? seems like some dampeners on each leg would go a long ways and a redesign of the actuall activators would solve everything.

    We installed motorcycle shocks on every leg when it was built. It hops up and down because the leg linkage can’t be made smooth with 2 legs per corner. The legs move in a D shape, but there’s a little dip between the time one leg lifts until the next leg drops. The smooth walkers using the 7 link leg have to use 3 legs per corner.

  13. Wade says:

    Hey, it’s worth mentioning that they converted it to electric drive this year. It’s now scary quiet, but with more foot stomping awesomeness. :)

  14. Jim says:

    At this scale 15k doesn’t go too far, I’m surprised thats all it cost. I got to go to burning man sometime.

  15. frogger says:

    where’s the arduino, I couldn’t see where it was in the video? Is it under the chassis?

  16. jim says:

    Kind of ambitious on a $15k budget.

  17. steaky1212 says:

    whats the law concerning “driving” this on the road?
    It would make for an interesting commute

  18. MadScott says:

    This Jansen leg mechanism “Segway” is way cooler, and without the hipster miasma:

  19. MadScott says:

    Yikes…no way to delete misspelled posts. Sorry.

  20. strider_mt2k says:

    Hipster miasma?

    You mean all the smiling and enjoying of themselves while they show off their creations and even race ‘em with friends both new and old?

    THAT “hipster miasma”?

    Try it some time.

  21. robomonkey says:

    Images of “The Wild Wild West” are coming to mind. Just add some flame throwers.

  22. Erik says:

    Having built a six legged two joints version, I can say I’m impressed. We had a zero budget of material from the local scrapyard though, but it cost us an insane amount of beer to finish that project.

  23. pookeye says:


    “Zero Emissions?” Give me a break!

    What will the next claim be, that the spider is now “green” and that this is one way to “save the Earth?”

    I can see it now… the spider with a throne bolted to the top and Al Gore at the controls.

  24. blizzarddemon says:

    Pretty good response time.

  25. sage says:

    Old hack is old. Unfortunately.

  26. soccer store says:

    Howdy,I love reading through your blog, I preferred to leave a little comment to support you and regard you a great continuation. Wishing you the better of fortune for all your blogging campaigns.

  27. reminder says:

    reminds me on spidermans doc oc

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