It's the plot of one of the latest episodes of Black Mirror that a woman is relentlessly pursued by a ruthless, killer robo-dog. The dog chases her across all terrains with incredible precision and grace.
This may have been why people became extremely concerned a few weeks back when Boston Dynamics released footage of their robo-dog capable of opening doors.
The basic gist of everyone's reaction was – if they can open doors now, they're unstoppable and we're doomed. It's like the Daleks in Doctor Who learning to climb stairs, once they learn that it's only a matter of time before they overthrow humanity.
So are we doomed? Will they now pursue us across miles of landscape and into buildings that don't even use automatic doors? In the words of Kent Brockman from The Simpsons, is it "time to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?"
Well by the looks of it, not quite yet but definitely soon. A new video from Boston Dynamics has shown they can be defeated by a simple human stick, but they put up a hell of a good fight.
The video shows "a test of SpotMini's ability to adjust to disturbances as it opens and walks through a door." You know, the kinds of disturbances you always face when you're going through a door: A guy with a hockey stick smacking you around and then grabbing onto your leash.
The robot is led to the door and issued a "go" command by its handlers. From then on the robot acts autonomously, using cameras on its feet and body to see if the door is open, locate the handle, and then walk through.
After each knockback from the jerk with the hockey stick, the robot adjusts remarkably quickly, finding the handle again within moments. It also shows off a great ability to keep its balance even when being pushed around the room. Not once does the robot fall during the test, and keeps its footing using its dog-like legs.
It's pretty impressive stuff from the firm that also brought you backflipping robots.
Whilst the robot dog does lose a portion of its ass when the man yanks its leash, the team insists that "this testing does not irritate or harm the robot".
Which is great, but we sort of still want the robots to see this footage when they do become self-aware in case they do decide to seek vengeance.