female engineer who uses 3 types of robots
In Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, Dinah MacQuarie is stationed on the International Space Station, and in charge of four types of robots: Grabbs, Siwis, Buckies, and Nats. The Siwis may be what you're referring to as a worm:
"The Siwi is adapted from a robot that was made for exploring
collapsed buildings. Which in turn was obviously adapted from a
"A sidewinder, presumably, given the name."
Dinah's coworker Rhys Aitken goes into abstract theory of how chains can be made to behave in zero gravity, at a time when Dinah is trying to hook onto someone with her robots:
"Oh, no. I see your point. Rather than trying to control the Siwi
chain, like a tentacle, all clenching muscles, let it relax and whip
around the Luk like a smart chain."
Rhys later extends this to other types of robot:
...he had begun tinkering with surplus Nats.... He had turned them
into a new kind of robot that he dubbed the Flynk, or flying link, and
taught them to be really good at forming themselves up into chains and
then doing the sorts of maneuvers in space that [predecessors] could
only have dreamed about.
By the end of the book, smart chains of all sorts exist - large enough to launch aircraft, small enough to act as man-portable armor and weapons systems.