Meet the Megadroid Project, using 300,000 Android devices to test network disruptions

Avid Android fans are likely to purchase multiple devices every couple of years. Some may get one device a year, or even throw down their money for three. It all depends on the user. Imagine running your own network tests, using 300,000 Android devices at once. This is now a reality with project Megadroid.

In this scenario, the name of the project fits the description well. David Fritz, an electrical engineer over at Sandria National Laboratories, described that the project will consist of 300,000 virtual machines running the x86 version of Android 4.0 to test usage in various network disruptions. Natural disasters, protocol glitches, terrorist attacks, you name it, is being tested and researched with Megadroid. The goal is to “understand and limit the damage” caused be these situations.

To create a realistic environment, Fritz proposed to emulate features like Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth as a subject to test vulnerabilities to malicious attacks, within the Android OS. The engineer stated:

“I imagine somebody like Foursquare would have liked to have a city’s worth of Android devices sitting in the room next door to test their platform on before releasing it into the wild. There might be some emergent behavior that you only see at scale.”

David Fritz believes that it is important to study social networking and explain how easy it is to obtain data. However, the head researcher isn’t a fool, succeeding in previous projects such as “Megatux and Megawin”, to test Windows and Linux software issues. Large tests like this requires a large budget. The cost of the virtual machines cost $500,000. Hopefully with the newest “cluster” of Android 4.0 testing, the researchers will reveal the important flaws to fix before an attack occurs. Check out the video below to know more about the Megadroid efforts.

Source: Ars Technica


About the Author: Will Gill

Will is an exciting writer, following his greatest obsession of Android media. Born and raised in New England, Will likes literature, movies, television, and the vast library of videogames. He is in his 2nd year of technology journalism, and would love to pursue it further, in the future. He currently sports a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, waiting for the arrival of the Note II.

  • Nudo

    Megaprops :)