Trying to identify this prevalent... tape recorder? I think?

One of my projects in queue is Marvin from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and I couldn't shake the feeling that the device on his chest was a found object:
marvin.jpg

And with the recent prop store auction and the Nostromo door control panel for sale, my intuition was proven right:
d4b25b62acb6eb70fb3eccf966cc25b5-1.jpg

So with that being said, does anyone have any leads on what this artifact actually is? The shape and buttons scream tape recorder to me, but I could of course be wrong, the only solution is a good 'ol RPF think tank! I hope some others have researched this, as I'm sure there are way more examples of this in TV and movies. As always, any help or info is appreciated big or small. Thank you!

-Galifreyscall
 

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