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"Waldo" : Imagining Remote Manipulators and TeleRobotics

 front cover art for the book Waldo & Magic, Inc. written by Robert A. Heinlein
 front cover art for the book Waldo & Magic, Inc. written by Robert A. Heinlein

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.

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