@drwho72 Thanks for your feedback! I have updated the votes on the feature lists.
I think it may be possible to add in more shoulder DOFs, but we would need to maybe axe the shoulder bearing in order to make more space for servos and as you mentioned use servos with more power. For stronger servos it may be possible to use a higher torque dynamixel PRO servo (would need to be controlled and powered separately) or possibly use an MX-106T with a small transmission to amplify the torque.
The clinical version of the Bento Arm is well on its way and we are hoping to have a working system installed in our local rehabilitation hospital by midsummer. I am investigating increasing the payload capacity by upgrading the existing MX-28AT wrist flexion servo to one of the ones from the new dynamixel X series (probably XM430-W350-T). They are actually a bit smaller than the MX-28AT model, but provide significantly more torque.
As for the communication options for brachI/Oplexus -- we have already begun using these protocols in experimental builds and will hopefully have TCP/IP and UDP modules available in an upcoming release.