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Moving object detection is very important in intelligent surveillance. In this paper, an improved algorithm based on frame difference and edge detection is presented for moving object detection. First of all, it detects the edges of each two continuous frames by Canny detector and gets the difference between the two edge images. And then, it divides the edge difference image into several small blocks and decides if they are moving areas by comparing the number of non-zero pixels to a threshold. At last, it does the block-connected component labeling to get the smallest rectangle that contains the moving object. Experimental results show the improved algorithm overcomes the shortcomings of the frame difference method. It has a high recognition rate and a high detection speed, which has a broad market prospect.