All the best science fiction has giant robots in it. That's just wisdom.
All the best science fiction has spaceships. Has ray guns and maybe dinosaurs, too. Has a sense of clutching wonder that takes you right in the chest, stutters your heart, widens your eyes and sucks the breath right out of you.
But really, it's about the robots. Any sci-fi or spec-fic story that proceeds through the middle quarter without the addition of a giant robot or two? That's a writer who's not bringing his A game. Who doesn't understand the rules or just didn't try hard enough.