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We go hands on with SAM: The ultimate Internet of Things Lego set

Turn yourself into a twerking hero, craft yourself a remote controlled vehicle or build pretty much anything you can think of with SAM, a do-it-yourself Internet of Things kit. 

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, SAM Labs is ready to unleash its Bluetooth building blocks on the world, allowing us to build our own computery gizmos with very little technical know-how.

The SAM kits are basically a bundle of physical blocks which come in all kinds of flavours, each powered by a miniature internal battery and rechargeable via the micro USB slot.

You have basic LED lights and switches, plus sensors for temperature and pressure, vibrating blocks, motors and so on. They talk to each other using Bluetooth, and you can virtually connect them using the SAM software (available for Mac, iOS etc) to create a circuit. So for instance, in the simplest form you could have a switch that turns on an LED when pushed.

SAM is of course much smarter than that, allowing you to create all kind of complex contraptions. The app includes plenty of IFTTT (If This Then That) functionality, including temperature and motion readings, timer features and so on. 

Despite the wide range of features, however, the software is surprisingly easy to use. Just drag and drop each component and connect them using virtual lines and you’re good to go.

So, what are the real life uses of SAM? Well, the most ridiculous example is probably the twerking pants. Yes, we know. 

We’re not sure if the whole 9V battery just above the intergluteal will catch on ourselves, but what do we know? 

In our hands-on session with SAM we had the chance to create all kinds of stuff, including a handy timer-release cage that automatically feeds pets (in this case, a pet snake), plus a remote controlled car using motors and miniature joysticks. 

In the hands of someone truly techy, SAM could provide an effective way of constructing some really smart robots and home automations. The ability to add your own JavaScript means you can fully customise your creations. But the kits are still intuitive enough for kids to get to grips with – SAM would make a pretty awesome present for the geeky sprog in your life.

SAM is available to buy from SamLabs right now from £89, and should start shipping in the next couple of weeks.


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