# What's wrong in controlling Roll+Roll rate in a quad-copter instead of using 2 separate loops for each?

I am curious to know why we can't apply control algorithm like PID on the weighted signal of Roll and Roll rate in a quad-copter instead of using two loops to control them independently. Fundamentally PID will make the input signal to approach $0$. In the case of (Roll + Roll-Rate), which would be $w_1\theta + w_2\dot\theta$, the sum becomes $0$ when individually both tend to $0$; since we have an exponentially decaying curve.

So why do people generally use sequential loops to control each of them separately? (Roll is just for example)

• It's not a big problem but general convention is to use phi for roll, and theta for pitch angles. Jun 20 '17 at 17:04

That only works when the desire roll angle is 0. What happens if you are trying to turn and have a desired roll angle of 1deg? Even changing your sum to match the angle error, $w_1 (\theta - \theta_d) + w_2 \dot{\theta}$ you are still not guaranteed to reach $\theta=\theta_d$; you're only driving towards $w_1 (\theta - \theta_d) = -w_2 \dot{\theta}$. For most situations this will not be a stable equilibrium so then you'll oscillate back the other direction.
• If that equality is satisfied for a certain $\theta$ but $\dot{\theta} \ne 0$ the system will continue to rotate away from that equilibrium point. Jun 20 '17 at 15:31