As robotic gadgets, and eventually robots, become increasingly common in daily life, it is critical that roboticists design devices that are accepted across cultures. Previous studies have examined cross-cultural differences in robot acceptance based on various design characteristics. Similarly, prior studies have examined cross-cultural perceptions of kawaii (Japanese cuteness). Building on these two prior research strands, this paper reports on our developing approach, with support from a United States National Science Foundation (NSF) International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IRES) grant, to use a cross-cultural, faculty-student design team to gain a deeper understanding of the role that kawaii (Japanese cuteness) plays in fostering positive human response to, and acceptance of, robotic gadgets across cultures. After explaining the motivation for the work, we outline our approach from both a technical and educational perspective. In doing so, we provide a case study that demonstrates how a cross-cultural design team involving students can simultaneously generate new knowledge and provide research training for future Human Computer Interaction professionals.