Prosthetics may seem to be the only solution to regain limbs lost to paralysis or amputation. But Columbus resident Leo Daugherty sees prosthetics as just one way of relaying a message, with sensor stimulation another.

Prosthetics may seem to be the only solution to regain limbs lost to paralysis or amputation. But Columbus resident Leo Daugherty sees prosthetics as just one way of relaying a message, with sensor stimulation another.

After an accident in 2012 left Daugherty paralyzed and unable to use his arms to full capacity, he was unable to indulge his favorite hobby: playing the bass drum. Yet, because his drum was electric, he started experimenting with sensors to control his drum sticks.

Realizing the sensors resembled a mouth piece, Daugherty tried inserting the sensor in a mouth guard and was able to control his drums with pressure applied with his tongue to the mouthpiece.

He calls it mouthkick, and its open-source API allows coders to come in and give mouthkick the ability to control almost any electric device-from video games to wheelchairs.

Daugherty is not yet ready to bring mouthkick to market as he works to perfect safety issues. Despite being in the early stages of development, he is hopeful about the product's potential for success.

"Let's say you lost everything, you're a true quadriplegic-you still have your mouth; you can control with your tongue different signals to tell that electric wheelchair where to go," Daugherty explains.

Potential Investor

"Is there a large enough market to support the volume necessary to achieve the economies of scale?"

Bob Cohen, CEO, Braintree Business Development Center

Potential User

"Tonguenacity would give me the leeway to ?do … so much … and I would benefit immensely from the services that it provides."

Billy George, Ohio State University football reporter, examiner.com

Industry Pro

"Several recent advances in … interface hardware have been made that may lend themselves well to devices that could … control the motion of a wheelchair."

James Dvorsky, owner, Joseph Eagle Determinations, LLC