In the third season of the G1 cartoons, there was this goofy but well liked show called "Grimlock's New Brain." In it, Grimlock got hit w/ an ~energy charge~ which gave him "super-intelligence!" making him the new Autobot genius, even if he was still the butt of all their jokes! He figured out that if the Decepticons were searching for more "anti-electrons," the Autobots could track them down to their source: Unicron's head, still orbiting Cybertron! While the A & D's duked it out, Grimlock created (or re-built & activated, depending upon your interpretation) the TECHNOBOTS, which gave the Autobots the edge they would need to defeat Galvatron and the Terrorcons. In the end, Grimlock decided to return to his former self and bestowed his super-intelligence upon their merged form: Computron!
I mention that maybe Grimlock rebuilt & reactivated the Technobots, since that would explain their appearance in the comics continuity well before 2005. You can learn about the first of the Technobot's in today's new character page; Afterburner, linked to in the 1987 TF section.