Frequently Asked Questions

About the Spider

Who created the Mondo Spider?

The Mondo Spider is a collaborative sculpture and interactive exhibit that was created primarily by Charlie Brinson, Leigh Christie, Jonathan Tippett, Ryan Johnson, Sam Meyer, Alex Mossman and Dillard Brinson. There were also numerous volunteers on the project. Check out the full list of artist credits here:

But didn’t the eatART Foundation create the Mondo Spider?

No. Leigh Christie (one of the Mondo Spider principal artists) co-created the eatART Foundation with John and Rob Cunningham about a year after the creation of the Mondo spider. Charlie Brinson and Jonathan Tippett are Principal Artists at the eatART Foundation. Further more, Jon and Charlie were central to the development and creation of the eatART Laboratory on the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver.  Leigh continues to be a Director although he has stepped down as Executive Director since Jan 2012. The eatART Lab continues to be the home base, maintenance location, storage location and nexus for all Mondo Spider activities. eatART is a Charity/non-profit and Mondo Spider is a jointly owned art-piece that is used to help eatART promote it’s mandate to “spread energy awareness through art”.

How many people can ride it?

One passenger on the drivers lap in in rare acts of honorary abductions.
If you ask for a ride you will simply be eaten and thus you will ride as a passenger
in many small mashed up poison-pumped pieces.

How does it turn?

Skid steering… similar to a tracked vehicle.

Can it go backwards?


How big is it?

About the size of a small car, but it’s as wide as it is long.

Does it do anything else?

It is capable of killing 20 hippies per minute. When there are no hippies around, it crushes cans.

How fast does it go?

A brisk walking pace, or a very slow jog.

What does it run on?

48V Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack, 160Ahr capacity

How did you come up with this idea?

The inspiration came from Vancouver Junkyard Wars.

Why did you build it?

Art for arts sake.

What is it for?

uhm… you can use it to kill hippies.
But it’s for the enjoyment of the designers, builders, riders, and spectators.
Some of the hippies on the Mondo Spider team wear a special patchouli-encrusted crystal amulet
to prevent their otherwise certain demise. For such an amulet please email us in advance.

About Burning Man

How did you get it to Burning Man 2006?

We disassembled it and put it in two trailers: a wicked horse trailer (thanks Wade!)
and a peanut sized utility trailer. In 2007 we plan to bring it down in a custom built trailer.

Why did I not see you guys at Burning Man 2006?

We were camped with Camp I Am over on the west-most side of the Esplanade.
We generally did not stray too far from our camp. If you were over on the east side, well.. that might explain it.
Another possibility is that you might have been looking for it during the day. For the most part,
the spider only went out at sunset and at night. The spider also broke down twice in 2006,
and was repaired on the playa both times thanks to the dedicated Mondo Spider Crew of bedlamites.
Considerable reliability improvements are being made to the spider for Burning Man 2007.

Where is the spider right now?

It’s currently hibernating in Dillard’s garage in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What are your plans for the spider

We are bringing it back to Burning Man 2007! We also plan bring the Spider to schools
and exhibit it at galleries, show and other public arts events.

About Walking Machines

What is up with the leg linkage? How did you make that?

The leg linkage mechanism was designed and patented
by a genius named Joe Klann

There are also other mechanisms that offer a similar foot path…
see Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest for an example

Is there a walking machine community?

Yes! There is a very large number of people all over the world that
build robotic walking machines, and there are a small few who build ones that you can ride inside.

Our good friend Joe Klann builds ’em all the time 😉

Here’s a link for a huge catalog full of walking machines:

Also, our friend Crabfu (the artist) built a steam-powered spider with help from Joe Klan:

Are there more that you can ride?

There are many wheeled vehicles that look like “walking machines”
but are in fact rolling kinetic sculptures. True large-scale walking machines that you can
drive are very few and far between. Here is a list of all those that are known to the Mondo Spider Crew.

  1. Two teams built walking machines as part of the Junkyard Wars USA competition.
  2. Three teams from the Vancouver Junkyard Wars built walking machines
    (including the prototype Mondo Spider). Email us for photos.
  3. Pulsetech (now Timberjack within John Deer) builds a wicked hydraulic powered
    logging machine that looks like a giant grasshopper:
  4. General Electric built one a long time ago:
  5. Tiger Shiva by Kezanti:
  6. The Big Ant (by Dr. David G. Ullman and his team):
  7. Toyota built an exoskeleton type machine:
  8. Joe Klann (the inventor of the six-bar linkag used by the Mondo Spider) has built a human powered version.
  9. Molten Steel Man is building one too:

About Mondo Crew

Where are you folks located?

In Vancouver, British Columbia.