You may not have heard of BQ, but the Spanish company is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in Spain. BQ produces a large selection of mid-range smartphones, tablets, and ebook readers. But who cares about any of that.

BQ’s CEO, Alberto Mendez, is so passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineers that he has created a robot kit for kids. These kits are under $100 and they come with all sorts of electronic components so that you can build robots to your own design. Programming will be handled using a drag and drop interface on your desktop, and you can even design and 3D print extra elements to fit onto your robot.

The whole project is based on open source hardware and software. Mendez explained that he wants to inspire the next generation to get into design, programming, and mechanical engineering. Allowing kids to get hands-on time building a robot is a great way to do it, compared to the abstraction of traditional classroom education in math and the sciences.

It’s an admirable aim and the results so far are super cute. Check out our video of the robot dancing like Michael Jackson. Mendez says it will be ready for sale within two to three months and the kits will cost around 80 and 90 euros ($90 to $100). We’re going to try one out just as soon as review units are ready.

Yahoo