I'm trying to understand how to think about ESP01 devices and arduino connectivity
I purchased one of the USB programmers from Ebay to program the ESP01 - this works nicely, I can see the ESP doing things (I have it pinging a server sending data back and forth)
Obviously, the ESP01 has very few GPIO pins, so I'm interested in connecting to an arduino so I can combine the Arduino's IO with the Wifi on the ESP, and this is where I'm getting a little stuck. I'm assuming I have to connect the RX pin on the Uno to the TX on the ESP and the TX on the Uno to the ESP RX to set up the connection, but I'm confused as to which serial port to use on the Uno.
are the TX/RX pins on the arduino actually the same serial port as the USB connector - i.e if my intent is to plug the arduino into a computer to talk to it over USB, should I not then re-use the TX/RX pins to talk to the ESP
if so, should I look to software serial or something similar and use other IO pins on the arduino to connect to the ESP01
... Also, as an aside, if I get this all working, do I still need the USB programmer, or can I then program directly from the arduino?