There are two different versions of the Octobots, the main one is a little metal ball with eight legs, which are controlled mentally by Doctor Octopus via a remote control. They can also be used to attack, to perform different tasks and attached to a person, they can make him/her obey its orders.
The other type of octobot is a giant metallic robot, which can be used to attack huge constructions.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series (Earth-92131)
The "Autonomous telepathic tentacles" was an independent variant of Doctor Octopus' Tentacles, created by him to defeat Spider-Man. It was controlled telepathically through a remote control which Doc Ock placed on his head. The Octobot eventually led to his downfall after a young girl named Taina got hold of the remote.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated Series) (Earth-TRN123)
Doctor Octopus used the only known model of the Octobot to chase Spider-Man and take a blood sample from him in order to create the Venom symbiote. It was destroyed during the battle against the arachnid hero. 
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