From mowing lawns and cleaning windows to lending a hand to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, robots are being designed to do an ever-expanding set of tasks. Now, Squishy Robotics, a Berkeley-based startup, has come up with squishy shape-shifting, sensory robots, with potential applications to provide critical information about disaster zones. The handy little bot, about two feet across, carries video cameras and electronic sensors within a ball-shaped lattice of rods and cables that cushion the sensitive gear from sharp blows — like smacking into the ground after falling from a great height. The robots are being developed for a number of tasks including remote monitoring and space exploration, but its primary applications are aimed at disaster response and situation awareness, which can save lives.