HOLMDEL - Drone enthusiasts attended a tech conference in Holmdel aimed at clearing up rules for the small aircraft.

"There's a lot of gray areas between local police forces and what is allowed," said Berge Parigian. "I want to be as legitimate as possible. I wanted to hear firsthand from the FAA."

At the NJ Tech Council's drone conference, the FAA talked about rules: flying below 400 feet, keeping drones visible, steering clear of aircraft and airports.

But an FAA rep who addressed the crowd wasn't just about limits. She also spoke about commerce, business and the future of drones. "Drones and robots have the potential to change the world," said Karen DiMeo, of the FAA. "Increasingly, people are thinking about drones as smartphones with propellers."

The cavernous interior of the former Bell Labs, where the conference was held Thursday, was an ideal space to fly drones and display the latest technology. Some topics included using drones with 3-D mapping and using drones for video surveillance and for shopping.

Still, some drone operators have run afoul of commercial airlines, and a South Jersey man was indicted for shooting down a drone.