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"I just can't be politic. I never learned how to do that and I don't like doing that. I think it's false."
- Harlan Ellison

Atomic-Powered Lifting Suits  
  Special exoskeletons that would allow an ordinary human being to walk in doubled gravity.  

How can space explorers walk around easily when the surface gravity of a celestial body is twice that of the Earth?

"We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets, so that'll protect us from the weight, if what our instruments say about that world's true..."

"I'll go check up on those suits and make some adjustments. I hadn't thought they'd have to handle any double-gravity worlds."


(From 'The Brain Pirates' by John Campbell)

"... may I suggest that you make sure you don't get those drive-units in the suits backward? I'd hate to have them sit on me as well as a doubled gravity."

Presently he was deeply engrossed in the delicate task of readjusting the tiny atomic-power drive units he had fixed in the space suits...

Slowly he turned up the lift-control at his belt. A slow creaking of straps and an unhappy wriggling on [his] part attested to the increasing power of the atomic drive mounted on his suit...

"I can't even stand up without the aid of this thing. Let's go."

Technovelgy from The Brain Pirates, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

Note that this precedes Heinlein's powered suit by about twenty years. However, it is really not a fully-powered exoskeleton. It appears to be primarily intended for walking, climbing, standing - lower-body muscle amplification.

Upper-body power is specifically not available:

Penton faced the strange inhabitants and slowly raised both hands above his head in a gesture of friendship.

He'd intended to hold them out horizontally in front of him, but the effort, under that gravity, was distinctly uncomfortable.

Berkley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton

The Atomic-Powered Lifting Suit is remarkably similar to the Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX), yet another DARPA project.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Brain Pirates
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to The Brain Pirates
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Atomic-Powered Lifting Suits-related news articles:
  - BLEEX: Robotic Exoskeleton Making Strides
  - ReWalk Medical Powered Exoskeleton
  - HAL Exoskeleton To Assist At Fukushima
  - H-MEX Helpful Exoskeleton From Hyundai

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