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Mar 30, 2012

Marketplace Money for Friday, March 30, 2012

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Robots -- they scan our groceries, build our cars, aggregate our news, direct us to the quickest route home, they even serve us cupcakes! This week we set out to discover just how ubiquitous robots are, and to what extent they govern our lives.  Marketplace’s David Brancaccio embarked on a 3,200-mile transamerican odyssey with his robot dog Wilson and a microwave oven. His mission: cross the country without interacting with another human being. We hear excerpts from his road diary and what it's like to live in a world where your only companions are machines.

Segments From this episode

The future of... cupcakes?

Mar 30, 2012
Sprinkles Cupcakes installs a robotic cupcake ATM.

Why self-checkout lanes don't work

Mar 30, 2012
Commentator Frances Frei says automation needs to improve the customer experience, not frustrate it.

Getting Personal: Health care, nursing, and investing

Mar 30, 2012
Host Tess Vigeland and David Lazarus from the L.A. Times answer your personal finance queries.
One way or another, if Americans want healthcare coverage, someone's going to have to pay.
KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Robots across America

Mar 30, 2012
Marketplace's David Brancaccio and his robot dog Wilson drive coast to coast without as much as a "hello" to fellow humans.

For recognizing a scam

Mar 30, 2012
A Big Y supermarket clerk helps a Connecticut woman from falling victim to a scam.
The recipient of this week's piggy award: A Big Y supermarket clerk, who helped a Connecticut woman from falling victim to a scam.
facebook.com/bigyworldclassmarket

Abundance and technology

Mar 30, 2012
Author Peter Diamandis thinks technology will help us solve the biggest challenges we face.
Water will become more and more valuable as the future draws nearer.
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images

It's a seller's market

Mar 30, 2012
Home sales in popular neighborhoods are up sharply as the economy continues its slow-but-steady recovery.

Robots — they scan our groceries, build our cars, aggregate our news, direct us to the quickest route home, they even serve us cupcakes! This week we set out to discover just how ubiquitous robots are, and to what extent they govern our lives.  Marketplace’s David Brancaccio embarked on a 3,200-mile transamerican odyssey with his robot dog Wilson and a microwave oven. His mission: cross the country without interacting with another human being. We hear excerpts from his road diary and what it’s like to live in a world where your only companions are machines.