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'BattleBots' Brings Father-Daughter Duo Closer Together

Forget sports or musical instruments. Robots are what brought father-daughter duo Mike and Lisa Winter closer together.

The pair, whose robot Plan X is a competitor in the ABC summer series "BattleBots," talked to sister site Purple Clover about what it's been like to compete as a team.

"We work on all sorts of projects together, but 'BattleBots' has given us the opportunity to work even closer together due to the difficulty of building a competitive fighting robot," Mike tells the site. "Our goal was to make a robot like no other, to try new building techniques, and to win."

"BattleBots," which is produced by parent company Whalerock Industries, returned to ABC on June 21 after more than 10 years off the air. The series focuses on the design and building of each robot, as well as the robot-on-robot competition.

Mike began working on robots competitively in 1994, according to Purple Clover. An engineer from California's Bay Area, Mike admits that he and his engineer daughter have different combat strategies when it comes to piloting the machines.

"I want autonomous; Lisa wants human-controlled," he says.

"I do think we have different approaches," says Lisa, who participated in robot competitions throughout her childhood. "I'm hell-bent to win and destroy. Mike likes to create story and drama."

"The trick," she adds, "is to find the balance of the two to generate an interesting competition."

While the father-daughter team has different approaches to competition, they also admit that family is inextricably linked to their efforts on the competition floor.

"When it comes down to it, we're always working on the same team," Lisa says. "Yes, it's basically impossible to separate family from robots, but robots are our life and building projects is what defines our family."

"BattleBots" airs Sundays at 9|8 p.m. Central on ABC.

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