It should be extremely simple. Here is how a drill works.
The microcontroller replaces the human and relay replaces the switch. It's a high-amp relay because on the very first magic smoke release test I found that the drill draws 20 amps (or more!). It's also a 15V battery, so I managed to remember the resistance of the motor as being .7 ohms which makes the V=IR math work out.
However, when I almost melted my entire apparatus on the second test I realized that the motor is only about .1 ohms. How on earth can I be feeding 15V to .1 ohms and only drawing 20 amps? Including a current-limiting resistor doesn't improve things much, since it just wastes a bunch of power getting really, really hot. After a little thought, I decided to actually look at the drill switch. I can't get it open, but I was able to confirm this much:
I don't know how, but that magic box is somehow limiting the current. One thing I can see in there is a transistor, which could definitely do the job....except it would have to be awfully high power to handle 20 amps. Or maybe it isn't? Maybe the 20 was transient and it normally feeds more like 2-3 amps? No idea. Which leads me to think maybe I need to give up and do something like this:
Which is stupid. If I knew how it worked, I could probably hook the microcontroller directly to the magic box and forego all my rubegoldbergian relay stuff (which should be a post on it's own...). It's also annoying that I know this can't be an unsolved problem. But I must not be thinking of the right keywords to find the solution.