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Marta Flamingo

Marta – Flamingo – Italy

Research and Innovation Project

“Have you ever noticed how often we hear an ambulance driving through during just one day? It is so normal for us … however, during the two months I spent in India I never saw or heard one”.

Starting from this, I thought that it would be useful to find a solution to the problem of death, in poor countries, due to the lack of a fast health care, because of unpaved roads and scarce means of transport.

Thanks to the designer Marta Alice Fattorossi and to professor Francesco Trabucco Flamingo bike-ambulance was created, patented by Politecnico di Milano and developed thanks to SIT Social Innovation Teams.

Its name – Flamingo – recalls the resting leg of the bird: the bike-ambulance has the same resting wheel, as a flamingo has, when connected to the bike, as a sidecar. When the bike-ambulance gets to places where streets get narrower and a normal means of transport could not pass, the stretcher is unhooked, the wheel is lowered and the trolley can be hand pushed, as a hand-cart, until the patient’s home.

“In Suderbans, an Indian region, every day fifteen people need a medical intervention, and five of them are children: a kind of help that nowadays cannot be given because of inaccessible roads”.

There is already one type of low-cost bike-ambulance, but this does not allow to monitor the patient during transportation, because the stretcher is usually behind the bicycle. The original idea of the Flamingo bike-ambulance is the sidecar, with the stretcher hooked sideways and the doctor can watch over the patient while riding.

Flamingo bike-ambulance is an innovative idea that is going to save many lives, and came out from a volunteering experience:

Because direct acknowledgement of the context and of the needs can be really the way to change the world”.


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