I remember back when SFG was revealed at E3 2014 as Project Guard, that the similarity between ROB the robot and the A.T.K. robot was noticed by the Treehouse staff.
I found the interview in which Miyamoto confirms he (quickly) designed the robots and one of them "vaguely" resembled ROB and before he knew it, they put it into the game.
Talk about robot design is at 24:25, if the video doesn't start there already.
Another possible throwback to Project Guard, is that the planet surface in PG seems like it make have became in SFG the final planet known as spoiler"Grippia" (Though the star scape in the background seems more detailed and colorful).
It might also be brought up that Direct-i also resembles a A.T.K. bot.