Five New Jersey universities are developing applications for the unmanned aerial devices.
New Jersey Statehouse discussed how drones can help communities in providing emergency communications for first responders, inspect bridges, monitor traffic and market real estate.
Chris Molloy, vice president for research and economic development at Rutgers University, said researchers there have started a new company based on drone technology.
"We're developing drones that can actually fly under water to be able to look to coordinate above and below surface on the shoreline disturbances involving climate change," Molloy said. "It could be a very safe way for divers to actually inspect pilings, oil rigs, etc."
Researcher are investigating systems that can detect drones trying to avoid radar while crossing the border.
People in charge of law enforcement and homeland security would like to have ways to detect illegal drones, according to Hady Salloum at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Jeff Sassinsky, the president of Fovea Aero Systems, said his company has developed a device to deal with security concerns about drones.
"We have seen instances especially overseas where drones are being weaponized or being used for nefarious purposes, certainly something that we have to be mindful of," he said. "One of our technologies that we've created is a drone that actually captures other drones and moves it to a safe location."
Even though drones are creating more attention in the law enforcement areas, Donal Sebastian president of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, explained drones are creatin more interest in students in the science and technology field.