The Hardiman was the first attempt to construct and design a powered exoskeleton. It was conceived by GE.in 1965. It's original purpose was to allow the wearer to lift with ease loads up to 1500 pounds. Needless to say that the project wasn't successful.
The Hardyman is a story by Susannah Breslin about a man finding a Hardiman and falling in love with it once he brought it back to life.