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Mechanoids were robots created by Duke Nigel's as his personal enforcers.
Duke Nigel created his robotic henchmen to be laborers, as well as installing audio/visual equipment of his own design into each of them, allowing him to deliver any news he had to the people. As his power, arrogance and paranoia grew, Nigel began to use the robots as his personal enforcers, quelling any signs of rebellion to his regime with their massive size and powerful pincer claws.
Despite their powerful iron and steel bodies, the robots were no real match against Hal Jordan's power ring, allowing him to make short work of the mechanoids during his time there.
When Nigel realized that he had indeed became the tyrant his people called him, Nigel ordered the Mechanoids to stand down. With his reformation, Duke Nigel used a Mechanoid in a more friendly manner.