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"I do think there is a link in that in both cases, writing fiction or writing a computer program, at any given moment you're focusing on a very specific and particular thing—one word, one line of code, whatever."
- Neal Stephenson

Powered artificial exoskeleton  
  A robotic device designed to support someone too weak to comfortably move in high gravity.  

This is a fairly early use of the idea of a powered exoskeleton.

At the ringside opposite them a table had been removed to make room for a large transparent plastic capsule on wheels. Don had never seen one but he recognized its function; it was a Martian's "perambulator," a portable air-conditioning unit to provide the rare, cold air necessary to a Martian aborigine. The occupant could be seen dimly, his frail body supported by a metal articulated servo framework to assist him in coping with the robust gravity of the third planet.


Don's eyes widened when he saw that it was a Martian's 'pram' - the self-propelled personal environment without which a Martian cannot live either on Earth or Venus. The little car wheeled in and joined the circle; the figure inside raised itself to a sitting position with the aid of its powered artificial exoskeleton, tried feebly to spread its pseudowings and spoke...

From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
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