Fancy turning your child into a miniature prodigy without the heartache of tearing them away from the toy box? Then you need Phiro, the Lego-compatible smart robot for kids that injects fun into learning how to code.

Updated: Phiro is now available for pre-ordering at its site for $99.

Phiro is a device about the same size of a toy car. It acts as a robotics and coding platform to teach kids problem solving and computational thinking.

>>> A tech piggy bank that teaches your kids to be smart with money

With Phiro, kids can create a Lego digger with caterpillar tracks to tidy their room, mount a smartphone on top to turn it into a roving camera, or build a creepy spider-borg with mechanical legs and sinister flashing eyes.

And that’s just the beginning. Phiro can detect light sources, recognise and follow faces, avoid obstacles, and even create music. There are tonnes of cool functions for your kids to get creative with and let them design their own wacky/terrifying contraptions to do their bidding.

Phiro comes in two models for young and older children. Phiro Unplugged is for kids aged between four and eight, and focusses on the basics of sequential programming and binary coding. It functions without being tethered to a computer, so there’s no need to put your little ones in front of a screen just yet.

Phiro Pro, for nine to eighteen-year-olds, links via Bluetooth to open source programming apps like Scratch 2.0, Snap4Arduino, and Pocket Code. It lets kids practice coding concepts and use a smartphone, tablet, or computer as a remote control for their Phiro.

Check out Phiro using Pocket Code’s digital compass:

Both Phiro models can also be programmed using Swish cards, which contain binary code to get Phiro to carry out specific functions, like follow you, make music, and flash its lights. Kids simply swipe them through Phiro’s card slot in any order they like to make their robot to act.

Flash forward a few years, and Phiro’s makers, an Indian start-up called Robotix, reckon Phiro will help produce a generation of budding artists, engineers, economists, and astronomers…

A tall order for a dancing Lego robot, but there’s only one way to find out if they’re right. Pre-order Phiro Unplugged for $70 (£52), or Phiro Pro for $129 (£85). Delivery is estimated for June 2016.