In his short story, "Waldo," published in Doubleday's Astounding Science Fiction Magazine in August 1942 under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald, American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein wrote about a mechanical genius who developed a device patented as "Waldo F. Jones' Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph."
"Wearing a glove and harness, Waldo could control a much more powerful mechanical hand simply by moving his hand and fingers. This and other technologies he develops make him a rich man, rich enough to build a home in space. In the story, these devices became popularly known as "waldoes". In reference to this story, the real-life remote manipulators that were later developed also came to be called waldoes" (Wikipedia article on Waldo (short story), accessed 03-13-2012).
Heinlein's idea was extensively implemented in telerobotics used in surgery, space, etc.