It is highly expected that the future informatics will be based on the spins of individual electrons. The development of elementary information unit will eventually leads to novel single-molecule or single-atom devices based on electron spins; the quantum computer in the future can be constructed with single electron spins as the basic quantum bits. However, it is still a great challenge in detection and manipulation of a single electron spin, as well as its coherence and entanglement. As an ideal experimental tool for such tasks, the development of electron spin resonance scanning tunneling microscope (ESR-STM) has attracted great attention for decades.This paper briefly introduces the basic concept of ESR-STM. The development history of this instrument and recent progresses are reviewed. The underlying mechanism is explored and summarized.The challenges and possible solutions are discussed. Finally, the prospect of future direction and applications are presented.