Sun called these "SunDials", these units had 8 dials. They also had an input device with 32 buttons, called "SunButtons".
Here is a description of the SunDials device taken from section 9.4 of the SunOS 4.1 Release Manual:
SunDials is an image-manipulation input device for Sun-3 and Sun-4
workstations, using an RS-232 serial interface. The desk-top dialbox
is compact, measuring 8.63"xS"x1.1S".
The dials can be programmed to change colors and manipulate images.
SunDials is designed to perfonn CAD image manipulation such as
scaling, translating, rotating, and zooming.
Sun View directs SunDials input to the process owning the window
(where the cursor is located). SunDials extends the interactivity of
the display controller beyond the current capabilities of a mouse or
The SunDials device driver is integrated into the GENERIC kernel. No
optional software or kernel reconfiguration is required, but kernel
reconfiguration is recommended for optimal performance.
See the dialtest(6) manual page for details
Sun's documentation uses the terms "dialbox" and "dials" to refer to these generically.