arm wrestler's dream! The General Electric Hardiman was as close
as science got to a cyborg during the '60s; and even then, it
was a stretch, since it was worn by its operator rather than grafted
onto his body.
Hardiman was the first serious attempt to build a powered exoskeleton
that could multiply the strength of the operator enough to allow him
to lift 1500 lbs as if it was a packet of peanuts. General
Electric had high hopes for Hardiman; envisioning it being used aboard
aircraft carriers for bomb loading, underwater construction, in
nuclear power plants, and in outer space, but by 1970 only one arm was
actually made to work. It could lift 750 lbs and responded
according to specs, but the thing weighed in at three quarters of a
ton and any attempt to get its legs to work resulted in a fit of
mechanical St. Vitus Dance. One arm does not an exoskelton make,
so Hardiman faded off into development limbo.
Backyard exoskeletons &
great giant robots.