We have to assure that the American and Asia/Pacific Venues are identical in their implementation. The first step (completed) was to agree on the Official Rules edit between both venues. The inability of anyone to get original iRobot Creates necessitated our upgrade to Create 2s. This also afforded to opportunity to go to a tactical switch instead of the Hall Effect switch which was causing problems as different teams used magnets of differing strengths and therefore differing performance to activate the Hall Effect devices. A tactile switch is an easy retrofit that will react the same way for all team implementations.
Initially, the American Venue engineers designed the Create interface, controller, and software. This was provided to the Asia/Pacific Venue and to the rest of the world. This time, the Asia/Pacific Venue engineers have designed the Create 2 interface, controller, and software, so this will be tested and implemented at the American Venue and posted to the rest of the world after we verify identical operation at both venues. The designs and information have recently been received from the Asia/Pacific Venue engineers, so this process will begin as soon as the American Venue gets its Create 2s (the Asia/Pacific Venue already has theirs).
We typically don't make any changes to the Official Rules once release, except to fix typos. In this case, the discontinuation of the original iRobot Creates was beyond our control, and to allow all new teams to be able to get robots with which to test, we needed to upgrade the entire competition to the iRobot Create 2s. Insofar as the team strategies and aerial robotic behaviors go, this is a minor change, and therefore deemed acceptable.