The freaky triple deaky robot escape artist

A late-night palate cleanser that freaked out half the Internet this afternoon. As you watch, remember: It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear.

And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until it opens the door.

Why is this clip so distressing when the robotic action is so anodyne (yet impressive)? Two reasons, I think. One: This thing moves a lot like the “dogs” in the “Metalhead” episode of the new season of “Black Mirror.” No doubt there’s good reason for that, with the animators in that show no doubt having studied robo-quadrupeds like this for verisimilitude. But the locomotion naturally leads one to think of other similarities to come in the less-distant-than-you-think future.

Two: A robot breaching a barrier is inherently nerve-wracking, even when the barrier’s as primitive and easily negotiated as this. They’re fascinating and wonderful so long as they’re under our control. Watching them open a door is an intimation of a future where they’re not completely under control. Other barriers will be breached. Autonomy is a fait accompli.

Exit question: Will you have the appropriate insurance coverage when the metal ones come for you?