Congratulations on your invention. The work involved in a working prototype can be complex.
There are so many ways for you to move forward. the question is which one is right for you?
Patents are overated. Lawyers will encourage you to get one because that is how they make their money.
To do the license approach a patent will be required to protect your idea.
I would read "License Your Invention" by Richard Stim.
Massive Success to you!