After their break into the fast-food industry, robots are about to debut in big retail stores: Later this year, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff is launching a mobile robot that it says can work agilely around workers and shoppers while keeping track of inventory.

Sarjoun Skaff, founder of Bossa Nova Robotics, would not say which store his robots will debut in, but only that it is a big-box retail chain. He said Bossa Nova, a Pittsburgh startup that has raised $24 million in venture capital, has been testing the tall, skinny, wheeled robots in stores for four years.

Why it matters: Look for the relatively fast arrival of such robots in grocery and other big stores, which are seeking to staunch losses as shopping shifts online. One big money suck: mislaid, lost and poorly tracked inventory, which according to studies results in billions of dollars in losses a year.

The arrival of robots and general automation in restaurants and stores is raising the worry of the loss of jobs, since retail, with 15.9 million workers in the U.S. alone, is one of the single biggest employers in the world. It is both a first job and a last resort for a large segment of the population in many countries.

Some 80,000 U.S retail jobs were lost in the first five months of the year. Online stores like Amazon are hiring, but they have not matched layoffs in department and other big stores.

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 20,532,835 — Total deaths: 747,845— Total recoveries: 12,743,275Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 5,193,266 — Total deaths: 165,934 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
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  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
Updated 58 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. reports 1,485 coronavirus deaths in a single day

Healthcare workers handling coronavirus tests in Los Angeles on August 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. reported 1,485 deaths due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, COVID Tracking Project data shows.

Why it matters: It's the highest single-day COVID-19 death toll since May 15, when the country reported 1,507 deaths. The U.S. has seen a total of 157,758 deaths from the virus.