PACO is an acronym of Platform for Affective COmputing. Additionally is my instructor's nickname.
Because everybody needs an assistant that can be easily programmed to remind us of things, take care of us and make us cheer once in a while
I once had a Nabaztag sitting on my desk, and was very sad of it not working properly because of network problems and overload at Violet's (Nabaz original creators) servers. Nabaztag was quite advanced for its time, but very limited in software and very badly documented. I felt the need of something open till then but wasn't able to build it till now.
I'm releasing PACO as it is now without waiting for it to be perfect or advanced. I hope just the concept and the basic API I wrote to inspire many people to build their own, and maybe in the future we will have an army of emotional cactus everywhere in the world.
I believe humans need to establish emotional relationships with everything to really appreciate something. When we were kids we had an emotional relationship with our toys, we talked to them, gave them names and treated them as equals. I'm not saying we should treat objects like humans, but I would be nice if object would treat us like that!
The idea of PACO is something I wanted to work for a long time. Now that it's built at some level, I plan to improve it, adding continuous speech recognition, a flexible multitouch pressure-sensitive body you can squeeze, and much more. Furthermore is also up to you to make it great, just grab the models and code on github and improve it. Also please contribute back your changes so everybody can benefit from them.