What would make a spider bot more awesome? An unanswerable question, you say? How could anything possibly make spider bots more awesome? Well, one thing could, and that's being able to ride them!
I've found six examples of giant spider bots that you can literally hop onto (or into) and ride around. Click on through to find videos of each one of these glorious monsters.
Matt Denton's giant hexapod "Mantis":
Matt Denton is back at it again. He knocked my socks off years ago with his spider that keeps eye contact, and he's done it again with Mantis. This two-ton, turbo diesel-powered, all-terrain hexapod is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. According to the project website, a team of talented individuals, as well as a couple financial backers, helped bring this one to reality. The team even kept a build diary that you can follow.
Not only can you ride inside the Mantis while it stomps around, but this thing is still fully remote control capable.
Could spider bots become a normal, acceptable part of traffic and a reasonable means of transportation? They seem to require a great deal of maintenance and care. And they may not be the most efficient or reliable of vehicles. But they do get you from point A to point B, and the aesthetic factor cannot be denied.
I saw one of these at the USA Science and Engineering Fair a few years back - it was pretty amazing. As I recall, the "driver" had some difficulty with the steering, particularly with those tight turns!!!