Teams of university boffins would create weird and frequently Heath-Robinson gadgets out of shockingly scant apparatus in order to crack problems like building bridges to support someone's weight, burglar alarm detectors that people couldn't avoid triggering, or indeed the weekly challenge of transporting an egg over some great distance without breaking it.
The programme went through a number of different formats. Originally it was studio based and featured teams trying to race home-made machines as fast as possible without cracking their egg-like cargo.
Meanwhile, Professor Heinz Wolff would set three other teams challenges to solve. Over the years, the egg racing was dropped and it became a purely challenge-based programme. Later series broke out of the studio, with challenges varying from building a wave machine to taking a photograph of an oil rig using a kite.