Hardiman was the first attempt to build a practical powered exoskeleton, by General Electric in 1965. The machine was intended to allow the wearer to lift loads of 1500 pounds (680 kg) with ease.
The project was not successful. Any attempt to use the full exoskeleton resulted in a violent uncontrolled motion, and as a result the exoskeleton was never turned on with a person inside. According to General Electric's Hardiman Project Report from 1969, "When turned on power to operate the shoulder joint, the arm lurched and the elbow would not operate." Further research concentrated on one arm. Although it could lift its specified load of 750 pounds (340 kg), it weighed three quarters of a ton, just over twice the liftable load. Without getting all the components to work together the practical uses for the Hardiman project were limited.