Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found a way to design telescoping structures that can bend and twist, enabling robots of various shapes to collapse themselves for transport, enter tiny spaces and reach over or around large obstacles. The researchers devised algorithms that can take a suggested shape that includes curves or twists and design a telescoping structure to match. They also created a design tool that enables even a novice to create complex, collapsible assemblies. The design possibilities range from something as practical as a rapidly deployable shelter to fanciful creations, such as a telescoping lizard with legs, head and tail that readily retract.”