Greg Schroll used to dream he could bend a soccer ball like David Beckham. But it wasn't his skills that could send the ball curving away; it was the soccer ball itself. Of course, cat toys can accomplish the same thing, but while he was at MIT, Schroll devised a more sophisticated, spherical botball (my word, not his, for the robotic invention) with special gizmos inside that allow it do to what other moving spheres cannot: climb upwards. "Most people have a disclaimer saying their spherical robot can't climb steep inclines or stairs. My goal was to overcome that limitation," he tells Popular Mechanics  magazine, which has dubbed the 23-year-old Colorado State University grad student one of the Top 10 Innovators of 2009 for accomplishing the task, keeping northern Colorado at the forefront of robotic invention . Ideas of how exactly to apply the technology are at this point a bit hazy. The botball could one day be used in space exploration or search-and-rescue operations---or even by the military, where some generals dream of robot battalions. "There's so much more to do, almost an infinite number of things I could do with it," he tells 9News . One thing is clear, though: Beckham, aka. "Goldenballs," is aging, but while he is somewhat marginalized by his English national team, the soccer star still seems a few years away from needing a botball to stay competitive .