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  1. Collaborative robots (cobots) are increasingly utilized within the manufacturing industry. However, despite the promise of collaboration and easier programming when compared to traditional industrial robots, cobots introduce new interaction paradigms that require more thought about the environment and distribution of tasks to fully realize their collaboration capabilities. Due to these additional requirements, these collaboration capabilities are underutilized in current manufacturing. Therefore, to make cobots more accessible and easy to use, new systems need to be developed that support users during interaction. In this research, we propose a set of tools that target cobot use for multiple groups of individuals that use them, to better support users and simplify cobot collaboration. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 11, 2025
  2. Robots are ubiquitous in small-to-large-scale manufacturers. While collaborative robots (cobots) have significant potential in these settings due to their flexibility and ease of use, proper integration is critical to realize their full potential. Specifically, cobots need to be integrated in ways that utilize their strengths, improve manufacturing performance, and facilitate use in concert with human workers. Efective integration requires careful consideration and the knowledge of roboticists, manufacturing engineers, and business administrators. We propose an approach involving the stages of planning, analysis, development, and presentation, to inform manufacturers about cobot integration within their facilities prior to the integration process. We contextualize our approach in a case study with an SME collaborator and discuss insights learned. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 11, 2025
  3. Social robots are emerging as learning companions for children, and research shows that they facilitate the development of interest and learning even through brief interactions. However, little is known about how such technologies might support these goals in authentic environments over long-term periods of use and interaction. We designed a learning companion robot capable of supporting children reading popular-science books by expressing social and informational commentaries. We deployed the robot in homes of 14 families with children aged 10–12 for four weeks during the summer. Our analysis revealed critical factors that affected children’s long-term engagement and adoption of the robot, including external factors such as vacations, family visits, and extracurricular activities; family/parental involvement; and children’s individual interests. We present four in-depth cases that illustrate these factors and demonstrate their impact on children’s reading experiences and discuss the implications of our findings for robot design. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Emotion expression in human-robot interaction has been widely explored, however little is known about how such expressions should be coupled with feelings and opinions expressed by a social robot. We explored how 12 children experienced emotionally expressive social commentaries from a reading companion robot across five interaction styles that differed in their non-verbal emotional expressiveness and opinionated conversational styles (neutral, divergent, or convergent opinions). We found that, while the robot’s opinions and non-verbal emotion expressions affected children’s experiences with the robot, the speech content of the commentaries was the more prominent factor in their experience. Additionally, children differed in their perceptions of social commentary: while some expressed a sense of connection-making with the robot’s self-disclosure commentaries, others felt distracted by them or felt like the robot was off-topic. We recommend designers pay particular attention to the robot’s speech content and consider children’s individual differences in designing emotional and opinionated speech. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Children’s early numerical knowledge establishes a foundation for later development of mathematics achievement and playing linear number board games is effective in improving basic numeri- cal abilities. Besides the visuo-spatial cues provided by traditional number board games, learning companion robots can integrate multi-sensory information and offer social cues that can support children’s learning experiences. We explored how young children experience sensory feedback (audio and visual) and social expressions from a robot when playing a linear number board game, “RoboMath.” We present the interaction design of the game and our investigation of children’s (n = 19, aged 4) and parents’ experiences under three conditions: (1) visual-only, (2) audio-visual, and (3) audio- visual-social robot interaction. We report our qualitative analysis, including the themes observed from interviews with families on their perceptions of the game and the interaction with the robot, their child’s experiences, and their design recommendations. 
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