These coils resembled cables and wires of various sizes, acting like tentacles, which could gather data. At least some coils also had the ability to plant DNA bombs. A number of Gathering coils were able to gather to create one large, more polyvalent creature, though such a swarm could be deactivated with a large electric shock.
Tzim-Sha used one such swarm in order to locate a trophy to take back to his planet, despite this being against his species' rules. It was later deactivated by Grace O'Brien, who electrocuted it with a cable at the cost of her life. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)