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(Pocket-lint) - The company that makes the Sphero robot ball, as well as Ollie and the official BB-8 droid for the next Star Wars film, has just launched a new kind of toy in the UK. It's designed to teach kids about robot programming.

Unveiled earlier this year, the new Sphero SPRK Edition has a clear outer shell, which reveals its internal components, and a new app that allows you to build programs for controlling the ball. You'll be able to take charge of its movements and LEDs simply by using visual drag-and drop coding blocks that represent OVAL, Sphero's C-based coding language.

The app is easy for kids - and adults - to create and save custom programs that Sphero can execute. It features a number of different programming interfaces for every age. The most basic mode, for instance, includes the drag-and-drop blocks that manipulate different parameters, such as speed, spin, and colour. The app also has a text mode.

With the text mode enabled, even advanced users will be able to program the Sphero SPRK. The new ball will of course also work with existing Sphero apps and games and is available now online and in stores for £130, whilst the SPRK app is free to download and use from Apple's App Store and Google Play Store.

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Check out the video above to learn more about this special-edition Sphero.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 13 October 2015.